Box Office: Holdovers Win but Newcomers Also Soar on Busy Weekend

Arrival

(NOVEMBER 11 – NOVEMBER 13, 2016 estimates)

  1. “Doctor Strange” (Week 2) – $43,032,000
  2. “Trolls” (Week 2) – $35,050,000
  3. “Arrival” (Opening) – $24,000,000
  4. “Almost Christmas” (Opening) – $15,564,000
  5. “Hacksaw Ridge” (Week 2) – $10,775,000
  6. “The Accountant” (Week 5) – $4,570,000
  7. “Shut In” (Opening) – $3,700,000
  8. “Boo! A Madea Halloween” (Week 4) – $3,550,000
  9. “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” (Week 4) – $3,325,000
  10. “Inferno” (Week 3) – $3,250,000

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  • doctor strangeMarvel continued to rule the box office with “Doctor Strange.” The film managed a strong $43 million weekend gross, down 49 percent from its opening. This was in line with the second week drops of both “Thor” and “Iron Man.” The film has rocketed up to $153 million domestic and $492 million worldwide. This is the second fastest a Marvel single character introduction has passed $150 million, right behind “Iron Man.” Continuing at this pace, the film will surely pass $250 million domestic. It could even have a shot of being the fourth film of 2016 to pass the coveted billion dollar mark. More likely, the film will wind up around $800 million worldwide.
  • Family audiences turned out in droves for the second weekend in a row for “Trolls.” The latest Dreamworks film dropped a mere 24 percent from its already strong opening weekend. This raises its domestic total to $94 million and worldwide total to $222 million. Comparatively, “The Peanuts Movie” opened around the same time last year and experienced a 45 percent drop from its opening weekend. There seems to be some robust staying power for the family film. However, its real test will come the next two weeks as it faces off against “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Moana.” With that said, the film should find its way to nearly $175 million domestic by the end of its run.
  • It shouldn’t be surprising that a well-reviewed science fiction film with A-list stars did well. However, “Arrival still managed to outperform mid-teen estimates to rake in $24 million on opening weekend. With a more modest theater count of 2,317 theaters, this was good enough for a $10,358 per-theater average. The film is much more of an introspective drama, which made it a possible tough sell. Yet, good reviews and the promise of an optimistic ending revolving around countries working together seemed to be a message people wanted to rally around this weekend. This will help the $47 million-budgeted film play over the coming weeks.
  • Arriving a little early for even Thanksgiving, “Almost Christmas nonetheless solidly delivered. The film’s $15.5 million opening falls only slightly behind “This Christmas” and “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas.” It did not get the success, however, that “Best Man Holiday” saw in 2013 with a surprise $30 million opening. However, the film only cost a scant $17 million. It should have no problem being a solid moneymaker over the holiday season for Universal.
  • Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” also saw strong business in its second weekend in theaters. The film eased 29 percent from its solid opening weekend. This brought the film’s domestic gross to  $32 million. This puts it on track to outgross fellow November WWII film “Australia” and pass the $50 million mark. This is good news for the $40 million-budgeted film. In terms of other Gibson films, this ensures it will outgross “Apocalypto.” The real test will be to see if it has the stamina to make it to the $75 million tally “Braveheart” received.
  • Once again, the smallest week over week drop in the top 10 went to Ben Affleck’s “The Accountant.” The film has been a silently strong performer throughout the tepid fall. It has amassed $77 million domestic and $128 million worldwide. While many were underwhelmed by its $24 million opening, “The Accountant” shows how important word of mouth and legs are to a film’s success.
  • While most films enjoyed a robust weekend, “Shut In” got left in the cold. The Naomi Watts thriller opened in just 2,058 theaters with little fanfare. It earned a paltry opening weekend of $3.7 million. Toxic reviews will severely handicap the film. Even $10 million domestic seems vastly out of reach at this point.
  • As Halloween fever dies down, “Boo! A Madea Halloween” is turning into a pumpkin. The Tyler Perry film dropped 54 percent in its fourth weekend, the steepest drop of the top 10. Still, never fret for Madea. The film has grossed $70 million. This makes it the second highest grossing Madea film of all time, behind “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail.”
  • Tom Cruise’s action flick “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” maintained its average, unspectacular performance. The film fell 39 percent, bringing its domestic gross to $54 million and worldwide gross to $127 million. Against a $60 million budget, this is solid, but not enough to demand further entries for the series.
  • Rounding out the top 10 is another struggling sequel, “Inferno.” The third entry in the Robert Langdon series continued to sink, losing 47 percent of its business. The domestic total stands at a disastrous $31 million, against a $75 million budget. Thankfully, the international box office has salvaged the film. Its worldwide total stands at $202 million.

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  • Moonlight” enjoyed another successful expansion this weekend. The film rose 10 percent for $1.3 million this weekend. This comes after adding an additional 93 theaters for a total of 176 theaters. While this isn’t a massive lift, the film is still registering in the new markets it is opening in. Its domestic total stands at $4.7 million. The per-theater average of $7,732 is solid, but it looks as if the film is starting to plateau. The film should make the full wide release jump by at least Thanksgiving in order to properly take advantage of the great word of mouth.
  • Fellow Oscar hopeful “Loving” upped its theater count as well this weekend. The film moved from four to 46 theaters and saw a 233 percent jump for a weekend gross of $532,000. This was good enough for an $11,565 per-theater average. While this was one of the strongest of the week, it paled in comparison to “Moonlight” at a similar point. The film will have to play smart in order to not get lost in the glut of Oscar films.
  • billylynnAfter a rough reaction at the world premiere at the New York Film Festival, Ang Lee’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” had a strong opening weekend. The film premiered in 4K 120 frames per second and in 3D in two theaters – one in New York and one in Los Angeles. The film grossed $120,000 for a per-theater average of $60,000. This was the best of the weekend. It remains to be seen if this strong showing is mainly out of curiosity for the new format, or if the maligned film will connect with broader audiences who won’t be able to see it in its intended format.
  • French’s Foreign Language Feature submission, “Elle,” also had a strong opening weekend. The film also opened in two theaters for a gross of $56,000. This was good enough for a $28,006 per-theater average. Buzz is growing around Isabelle Huppert’s work in the film. Perhaps this will be enough to bolster expansion over the coming weeks. However, with other strong independent films making the same play, some will undoubtedly get lost in the shuffle.

What did you see this weekend? Share with us in the comments.