Box Office Report: Hollywood Goes on Vacation

Box Office Report: Hollywood Goes on Vacation

Dec 04, 2017

CocoHere's your estimated 5-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. Coco - $26.1 million ($108.6 million total)

2. Justice League - $16.5 million ($197.3 million total)

3. Wonder - $12.5 million ($88.0 million total)

4. Thor: Ragnarok - $9.6 million ($291.4 million total)

5. Daddy’s Home 2 - $7.0 million ($82.8 million total)

6. Murder on the Orient Express - $6.7 million ($84.7 million total)

7. Lady Bird - $4.54 million ($17.0 million total)

8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - $4.53 million ($13.6 million total)

9. The Star - $4.0 million ($27.2 million total)

10. A Bad Moms Christmas - $3.4 million ($64.8 million total)


The Big Stories

Hollywood is taking a couple weeks off after Thanksgiving. And why shouldn’t they? Preparations need to be in place for when Star Wars: The Last Jedi explodes all over the box office and even the biggest studios don’t have the hubris to try to sneak something in, other than Ron Shelton’s entry into the look-at-old-guys-being-wacky-buddy-comedy opening next week. It is actually a bit admirable when you think about it. If you really stopped to consider just how many movies are released each week between theatrical, video on demand, Netflix and then re-released on DVD, it would blow your mind. It is impossible to catch up. So, Hollywood takes a couple weeks off and has allowed all of us to catch up on some of the great movies currently in theaters. You know, old style.


Tales of the Top Ten (and Beyond)

Families still have Coco to catch up with after a solid, if unspectacular, opening over Thanksgiving and it was an easy #1 this weekend again and very likely next week as well. It is behind the pace of last year’s Moana but still ahead of Tangled, which suggests $200 million is still very much in its sights. Consider this chart of Disney’s Thanksgiving openings:

Title / 2nd Weekend Gross / 12-Day gross / Final Gross

Frozen ($31.3 / $134.2 / $400.7))

Moana ($28.2 / $119.7 / $248.7)

Toy Story 2 ($27.7 / $116.7 / $245.8)

Coco ($26.1 / $108.6 / ???)

Tangled ($21.6 / $96.5 / $200.8)

The Good Dinosaur ($15.3 / $75.7)

Basic projections suggest that Coco is headed for around $225 million domestic which would put it 12th on the all-time Pixar chart between Brave and WALL-E. It has made another $171 million internationally to date.

Coco actually has a real competitor for the family dollar going forward, though, and that is the wonderful surprise hit of the season in Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder. The profoundly moving film starring Jacob Tremblay has exceeded all expectations already and every day word-of-mouth spreads. Lionsgate actually increased its screen count by another 277 theaters and you are likely to see it actually jump up the chart in its fourth week as it leapfrogs Justice League and passes its first milestone in $100 million. That will make it just the fifth film in Lionsgate’s history not named Hunger Games, Twilight or Divergent to pass that marker, joining La La Land, Fahrenheit 9/11, Now You See Me and The Expendables. Wonder is going to pass at least three of those films as well.

As for other milestones, Thor: Ragnarok will be passing $300 million next weekend and the failing Justice League will finally hit $200 million on its 19th day to join I Am Legend, The Lord of the rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Meet the Fockers, Inception and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, though it may still struggle to hit the $250 million mark. Then you have both Murder on the Orient Express and Daddy’s Home 2 trying to crawl their way to the $100 million company. Branagh’s film is already an international hit ($126 million overseas and counting) with a sequel on the way. Paramount is looking for any kind of victory to hang their hat on. (Only Transformers: The Last Knight, also with Wahlberg, passed the mark this year, though with $115 million less than the last film domestically.) But they are ending 2017 on another sour note and don’t look for Alexander Payne’s Downsizing to spread any holiday cheer to their bottom line.

Those are the releases in the most theaters, though. Going down the list is where audiences really have a chance to catch up before Episode 8 begins dominating the conversation. They have already turned Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird into a hit. The 100%-approved film at Rotten Tomatoes (now with a 185-0 record), which just won Best Picture and Best Actress from the New York Film Critics, is now just under $12 million away from becoming A24’s highest-grossing domestic film ever. Both that and Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri are now in over 1,000 theaters and should have no problem sticking around the Top Ten for another week.

Sony Classics didn’t take the opportunity to capitalize on Call Me By Your Name’s opening last week (a four-theater start better than any in 2017) but it still made another $281,280. Joining the limited release fray this weekend was James Franco’s 96%-approved The Disaster Artist, about Tommy Wiseau and the infamous making of one of the best bad movies ever made, The Room. It opened in 19 theaters to the tune of $951,000. Put that in perspective of the all-time per-screen averages on films opening in-between 10-50 theaters.

Precious ($104,025), Lincoln ($85,846), Black Swan ($80,212), Up in the Air ($78,763), The Disaster Artist ($64,254), The Blair Witch Project ($56,002), American Beauty ($53,845), Mystic River ($49,293), 12 Years a Slave ($48,617), Michael Clayton ($47,994).

That’s a pretty respective list to be a part of, let alone rank fifth all-time. Gullermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water (95% on RT) joins a different list as it opened in just a pair ot theaters this weekend to a tally of $154,000. Where does that rank all-time?

The Lion King ($1.58 million), The Princess and the Frog ($786,190), Atlantis: The Lost Empire ($329,011), Brother Bear ($291,940), Aladdin ($196,664), Evita ($195,085), The Nightmare Before Christmas ($191,232), There Will Be Blood ($190.739), Moulin Rouge ($167,540), The Shape of Water ($166,800), Beauty and the Beast (1991; $162,146), Edward Scissorhands ($159,622), Bulworth ($141,816), The Darjeeling Limited ($134,938), Defiance ($123,513), Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk ($114,129), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou ($113,085), Broken Embraces ($107,111), Talk to Her ($104,396).

Right ahead of Beauty and the Beast and Edward Scissorhands seems very appropriate for del Toro’s latest adult fairytale. Pan’s Labyrinth opened to a per-screen average of $33,449 in 17 theaters in 2006. Six Oscar nominations later and it had made $37.6 million. Fox Searchlight is certainly hoping for a similar result.

If you want to listen to Erik Childress’ Holiday Box Office Prediction Show, you can download the podcast.

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[Box office figures via Box Office Mojo.]

Categories: Features, Box office, Geek, Indie
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