Box Office Wrap Up: Moana Stays on Top, Incarnate Fumbles.
Last week’s favorites keep their chairs while the one new film scrambles just to make the top ten.
It was hardly a surprise that this week’s results look very much like last week’s; with only one new film to contend with, there wasn’t much that could shake Disney’s boat. This week has been historically quiet, and while the box office sales figures were slightly down this year compared to last, they were well in line with the overall trend of a slower first week in December.
Disney’s Moana repeated in first place with 28 million in ticket sales. That figure looks a touch startling when compared to the film’s first week, but a long Thanksgiving weekend inflated Moana’s initial earnings, and it will most likely see an uptick in sales when people finish their holiday shopping and look to take their family to the theater for the long winter recess.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them conjured up enough sales for second place with 18 million dollars in sales. Fantastic Beasts and Moana were the only films to earn more than 10 million dollars this week.
Third place went to Arrival, which had a very modest drop in sales compared to last week. Indeed, the 36% decrease allowed the film to jump up two spots and pass both Doctor Strange and Allied.
I mentioned last week that Doctor Strange seems to be having a larger cooling than the typical Marvel movie over the long stretch, and that trend is definitely continuing. Not only did Arrival pass it on the list, but the good doctor was passed by Brad Pitt’s war drama Allied as well.
Allied desperately needed to have a good weekend, but holding on to fourth place on a slow week is an illusion of success. A take of 7 million dollars is not helping to erode the massive hole that the film is in monetarily, and neither foreign sales nor awards season seem to be in the cards as a late game-changer.
Another movie that could have used some help was Bad Santa 2, which took in only 3 million dollars and had to settle for 8th place. The film has struggled for an audience for the holidays, and with next week’s only wide release taking the form of a Christmas themed comedy, Bad Santa could be in for a bad weekend.
All the way down at 9th place we finally find our only new wide release, Incarnate, which took in a disappointing 2.5 million dollars. Horror films with small budgets still need to sell some tickets, and this film was under many estimates by several million dollars in ticket sales.
We’re starting to see the ramp up for films that are hoping to do well in the awards season. Manchester by the Sea barely missed making the top ten this week after adding 100 theaters to its run. Loving continues to add theaters slowly, up to nearly 500 in its 5th week. Moonlight, which recently took a best film award and will most likely be a strong Oscar contender (unless the Academy shoots itself in the foot by whitewashing their picks for yet another year…) seems to be holding steady at just over 500 theaters. I expect their latest award may see them add more theaters.
Rules Don’t Apply, which is looking to be one of the biggest bombs of the year, actually accelerated into the skid by adding a few more theaters. It hardly helped, as the film is taking in a ludicrously low 228 dollars per theater. You’re going to be able to find that kind of money stuck in the cushion seats when Star Wars premiers.