Sunday, November 29, 2015
Hunger Games Leads Again As Good Dinosaur Does OK And Creed And Danish Girl Turn In Knockout Box Office Performances
Hey look! A new PIXAR movie, the first to debut outside of Summer in 11 years, and the first to premiere over Thanksgiving weekend in 16 years, came around this weekend. This feature, The Good Dinosaur, opened to $40 million, the fourth biggest Thanksgiving opening weekend of all-time behind Frozen, Toy Story 2 and Tangled. Over its first five days its amassed $56.4 million, a solid haul that's slightly under expectations, but also far far from being a "box office bomb" of sorts.
Why did Arlo and his prehistoric pals fail to hit the box office heights of recent animated Disney Thanksgiving smashes like Tangled and Frozen? A slightly more muted critical reception might have hurt things, as were ads that were lighter on laughs than many of the most successful modern day animated movies. It's also interesting to note that, two years ago, Frozen, was the first major animated movie in two months. Even last years Big Hero 6 (which didn't debut over Thanksgiving, but did start its run in November) was the first family movie to gross over $20 million in its opening weekend in just under five months. By comparison, the past 10 weeks have delivered 3 family movies that have opened to over $20 million, 2 of which got over $40 million in their opening weekends.
So what does the road ahead look like for The Good Dinosaur? Well, the good news is that there's very little major family movie competition over Christmas (Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip is the only family film opening over the holidays, and that one's gonna fall waaaay short of its predecessors domestically), but the bad news is fellow Disney title Star Wars: The Force Awakens is gonna suck all of the oxygen out of the marketplace in its fourth weekend of release. There's a good chance The Good Dinosaur winds up as the lowest grossing PIXAR film domestically, but I'll be generous and say it ends up just above that for a $170-175 million final domestic haul.
In third was the very impressive Creed, which generated $30.1 million over the three day weekend. That's the 10th biggest 3-day Thanksgiving opening weekend of all-time, and with an A Cinemascore by its side, as well as glowing reviews, this one has a good shot at lasting through the Christmas box office. With its 5-day haul of $42.5 million, this Ryan Coogler feature can thank its strong box office results to a number of actors; those aforementioned ecstatic reviews, it's top-notch marketing and the fact that it's the kind of excellently crafted crowd-pleaser that can always be counted onto generate big box office numbers.
Barring a huge second weekend plummet, Creed should have no problem getting past $100 million, which would make it Michael B. Jordans first movie to hit nine digit numbers at the domestic box office and Sylvester Stallones first film to cross that threshold since The Expendables five years ago.
In fourth place was Spectre, which had a tiny 15% dip over the holiday weekend for a fourth weekend haul of $12.76 million. 007's newest adventure has now amassed $176.3 million, putting it already above the domestic grosses of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Right behind Spectre in fifth place was fellow November 6, 2015 release The Peanuts Movie, which added an additional $10 million to its domestic haul to this weekend. That's a 24% drop from last weekend, a definitive sign that Charlie Brown and the gang lost much of their audience to the newest PIXAR adventure. The Peanuts Movie has now grossed $117.1 million.
The Night Before dropped only 18% from last weekend for an $8.1 million second weekend. This ones performing way below typical Seth Rogen vehicles, though at least this is a solid second weekend drop. The Night Before has now grossed $24 million over ten days. Fellow second weekend feature The Secret In Their Eyes had one of the bigger dips of any film in the top 12 this weekend, losing 35% from its opening weekend a gross this frame of $4.3 million. This Billy Ray feature has now grossed a tiny $13.8 million over ten days and will likely vanish from theaters entirely in a week or two.
Eighth and ninth place went to smaller indie films expanding into wide release, with eighth place going to Spotlight, now playing in 897 theaters and adding another $4.4 million to its great current domestic cume of $12.3 million. Brooklyn came in at ninth place with a great $3.7 million haul bringing its domestic gross to $7.1 million. And coming in at tenth place, still sticking around, was The Martian, which managed to nab another $3.2 million, only a 15% dip from last weekend, over the weekend where it was originally scheduled to open. The Martian has now grossed an amazing $218.6 million.
All the way down in 12th place was the record-breaking Victor Frankenstein, which grossed an anemic $2.3 million over the weekend. That's the worst opening weekend ever for a film opening in over 2500 theaters, and, yeah, this dismal showing isn't exactly surprising. 20th Century Fox basically buried the movie when it came to marketing, and what they did put out was more confusing than enticing. One notable example; that main poster. Depicting Victor (James McAvoy) and Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) in a heroic pose of sorts. Now, in the film, Igor has his hunchback cured, meaning the main visual signifyer of a character being "Igor" is now gone, meaning audiences now have to decipher both which of the two actors is the titular lead and who the other man on the poster is.
Also; isn't it kind of ironic, after Victor Frankenstein screenwriter went on his Twitter tirade about original films like American Hustle being unable to find an audience anymore, that his adaptation of Mary Shelleys novel found itself being outgrossed by a wide margin by not one but two original dramas? Meanwhile, Trumbo went into wide release (616 theaters to be precise) to decent results, grabbing up $1.5 million for a $2,490 per theater average. Not great, but solid enough numbers considering it faced intense competition from fellow dramas Brooklyn and Spotlight.
In the world of limited releases this weekend, The Danish Girl debuted in 4 theaters to terrific results. This Tom Hooper effort grossed $197,000 in its opening weekend, for an excellent per theater average of $49,250. Focus Features plans to expand this film into wide release on Christmas Day, and that should pan out given the tremendous numbers its already turning in in limited release. In its second weekend, Carol didn't add theaters, but it had an incredible 9% dip for a $203,000 weekend and a $50,500 per theater average. Don't be shocked if this one also goes into wide release over Christmas.
Overall, the top 12 grossed $172 million this weekend, an 12% increase from last year when the first Part of the Mockingjay duology ruled for the second weekend in a row. In terms of Thanksgiving weekends, this sum was decent, being up from Thanksgiving in 2011 and 2014, though way down from past massive Thanksgiving frames from years like 2013.