Box Office Wrap Up: Moana Feasts, Others Starve.
Another week in which Disney soaked up all the gravy, leaving other newcomers like Allied and Bad Santa 2 to beg for crumbs.
Disney continues their record setting year with another animated hit, Moana, while Doctor Strange manages to hang on to third place. The overall trend was a slight uptick from this time last year, but it was truly Disney that received all of the blessings in a top-heavy weekend. Other new comers came in well lower than anticipated.
November is up nearly double the take from October with 800 million in sales, which is a relief since October was abysmally bad for ticket sales. The caveat here is that nearly a third of that total all went to Disney’s two powerhouse films. With Rogue One due out this December, we may very well have a year in which spectacular numbers translate into very few gains for studios not sporting a mouse mascot.
Moana took the top spot with a 3 day total of 56 million dollars and about 82 million dollars over the long Thanksgiving holiday. The critics and audiences both lavished praise on this animated musical, so expect Disney to have another film with the potential to crack 300 million dollars domestically (and likely much more world wide.)
Second place went to Fantastic Beasts, which had a modest decline from last week’s first place premier. The film has already done 180 million dollars domestically in two weeks, a welcome sign for Warner Brothers. Despite critical derision for their super hero franchises, WB is also slated to have a very nice year with Fantastic Beasts, Suicide Squad, and, yes, even Batman V Superman this year.
The third spot went to Doctor Strange. While the film has slowed some domestically, it had a strong hold this week, and has made a ton of money overseas. I’d expect it to finish just shy of the 300 million mark as it is slightly under-performing Iron Man, who managed to just crest that hurdle in 2008.
Allied managed to hold on to fourth place, but that may be cold comfort. The film made only 12 million dollars in its first week against an 85 million dollar budget. It’s not exactly setting the foreign box office on fire, but it still has a few large markets left to reach. All in all, I don’t expect this film to be considered a success.
Bad Santa 2 had to settle for a lump of coal in the seventh spot. The first film was a surprise success, and a decade between films did not help the sequel to stay fresh in people’s memories. The 6 million dollar take was bad, but a 26 million dollar budget means this film has a lower bar to clear to at least remove its name from the disasters of 2016 list.
The real lame duck this holiday was Warren Beaty’s drama Rules Don’t Apply. With a full wide release of 2,300 screens, the film only managed to take in 1.5 million dollars. How bad is that? The film was edged out of 11th place by Loving, which managed to make 1.6 million dollars in only 400 theaters (and is already in its fourth week of release), and it barely managed to out-earn Manchester by the Sea…which was only showing in 48 theaters. That is grade A terrible.
Dear Zindagi, a comedy from India, premiered in limited release on 150 screens and had a very strong showing at nearly 1 million in ticket sales. Just to rub it in, it will probably expand next week and mop the floor with Rules Don’t Apply. Ouch.
Top Ten Films
1. Moana (56.3)
2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (45.0)
3. Doctor Strange (13.7)
4. Allied (12.7)
5. Arrival (11.4)
6. Trolls (10.6)
7. Bad Santa 2 (6.1)
8. Almost Christmas (5.6)
9. Hacksaw Ridge (5.5)
10. The Edge of Seventeen (2.9)