Box Office Wrap Up: Strange Stays Strong, Shut In Shut Out.
Disney notches another first place weekend with Dr. Strange, breaking their yearly earnings record…and Star Wars isn’t even out yet!
The rich keep getting richer. Disney had another first place weekend as Doctor Strange remained the top grossing domestic film. Overall, this weekend was good news all around for Hollywood, marking a 50% increase from last years total. While it wasn’t a record shattering weekend overall, we did see Disney break their yearly earnings record, and with 5.3 billion dollars in world-wide earnings already in the bank (and Rogue One and Moana still due up) they should easily crush the current record holder, Universal.
Doctor Strange managed to levitate into first place, taking another 43 million dollars domestically. Second place went to another film in its second week, Trolls, which has made a spectacular running total of 93 million dollars. New arrival, Arrival, managed to crack the top three with a total of 24 million. While that was not enough to unseat the two returning champions, it was well above studio estimates. With the widely positive critical response and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday (in which no new films are making wide release debuts), Arrival should manage quite well over the long run.
The other new releases, Almost Christmas and Shut In, had much different fates. Almost Christmas did extremely well for a small ensemble comedy, and proves that director David E. Talbert (Baggage Claim, First Sunday) has a keen eye for success when it comes to comedies featuring people of color. With the huge success of Tyler Perry’s latest outing and the wide critical praise for Moonlight, we may be finally seeing studios’ and audiences’ appetites lining up.
Shut In, on the other hand, had a pretty dreary weekend. The film managed a meager 3 million dollars, just enough for 7th place. The film has had problems with negative reviews and a confusing premise, and has exacerbated those woes by have a large budget for a horror film.
Ang Lee’s latest drama, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, premiered in a pair of theaters to decent success. The critics have been mildly approving of this war drama, and it is set to expand to 1000 theaters this weekend. I’m interested to see that this film has Steve Martin in it. With Eddie Murphy’s excellent return with Mr. Church, it is heartening to see the return of these brilliant actors (Bowfinger 2 still does not need to be a thing, though.)