4TH/5TH UPDATE, Sunday AM/Monday: With actuals. During one of the hardest weekends of the year to open a movie, Universal did so with Legendary’s holiday horror comedy Krampus earning $16.3M in second place, which is better than the $10M-$13M that the town and Uni were expecting. Tack on $3.3M and you have a global weekend for this Michael Dougherty film that’s just under $20M. With a title like Krampus on the release schedule, a throwback to the Christmas-horror cult hybrids like Silent Night Deadly Night, no one was taking this film seriously, predicting its imminent demise in its first weekend. One non-Uni distrib chief thought Krampus would go the way of Victor Frankestein, which had all its legs and arms fall off with a -70% floor drop in its second frame for $747K. But Krampus rose on Saturday over Friday by 10%, which rarely happens for a horror title. Even more impressive: You would have thought that Sony’s comedy The Night Before with B.O. star Seth Rogen would be the It ha-ha-holiday title of the season at the B.O., but with Krampus we have an ever lower budget title at an estimated $15M with comedic actors Adam Scott and David Koechner beating the opening of the Rogen film, $16.3M to $9.88M. Just another example of how audiences respond more to concept than star power at the box office (CinemaScore even cites that the No. 1 reason why people bought tickets was because they were intrigued by the campy horror film storyline). Krampus‘ B- CinemaScore indicates it has a 2.7 multiple which would get it to $43M. Moviegoers were evenly split between men and women with 51% under the age of 21. Some predict lower at $35M – once we get past Christmas, multiples become unpredictable. Even with the bigger grossing theaters in the west, the best theaters for Krampus were in the midwest, south central and the south. Per iSpot.TV, an estimated $8.6M was spent on national TV ads (note this figure isn’t made official by Uni), and the spot tracking org shows spending scattered across ESPN, Comedy Central, Fox, Cartoon Network and AMC. One unique local market plug saw Legendary partnering with Pittsburgh’s scariest haunted house in the nation, ScareHouse, for a Krampus themed house complete with the Weta Workshop creatures and props.

The first weekend in December can be quite a bear as a majority of moviegoers devote their time to sundry holiday activities. Nontheless, as we began to see from Friday, this weekend ended up significantly better than expected with total ticket sales at $97.4M, repping a 25% surge over the same frame a year ago. This is attributed to four films pulling in $15M+ at the top of the charts, despite the fact that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 didn’t hit its industry projections of $20M-$21M. That film took No. 1 with $18.85M. To date, the last feature adaptation of the Suzanne Collins’ YA series has made $227.4M stateside and $296.8M which surpasses the foreign cume of the first Hunger Games movie ($286.4M). Despite the fact that moviegoing was up from a year ago, it’s still a blase frame, we can’t ignore that, as total ticket sales are down 47% from last weekend’s holiday FSS. This coming weekend, with one new wide release, Warner Bros. In the Heart of the Sea, grosses are projected to be even lower than this weekend.

Disney’s The Good Dinosaur popped back to third at $15.3M over Creed‘s fourth place take of  $14.989M. That 60% downturn for The Good Dinosaur is the steepest yet for a Pixar film, and it’s a cynicism that has led many rival distribution execs to cut their final stateside cume for this film down to $140M. However, most family moviegoers are holding back their dollars for when Force Awakens opens on Dec. 18. Disney remains hopeful that Good Dinosaur will hold through the holidays, however, the notion is that this title is like a Cars — it plays well to young children, but isn’t as smart for adults as Wall-E or Inside OutCreed, currently at $64.6M, is expected to play strong through the holidays.

Off 305 theaters, Roadside Attraction’s Spike Lee title Chi-Raq kept on track throughout the weekend, minting $1.198M. The film marks Amazon Theatrical first release (by the way, Amazon Prime is getting Radius-TWC’s Macbeth in the near future as part of a VOD deal; that Cannes film festival closer didn’t wow this weekend with a $13,967 PTA at five locales). Amazon’s marketing and distribution chief Bob Berney, exclaimed, “The (Chi-Raq) numbers out of Chicago are phenomenal. In Chicago we  estimate a $15+ thousand per screen average on 22 screens. And in the majority of our 305 theaters we’re one of the top three grossing films. All of this is a testament to the support of the local Chicago community and, across the board, the urgency of the situation. Chi-Raq has been recognized as a call to action to stop the violence plaguing cities across the country, not only Chicago.”

On the specialty side, Universal’s Legend only dipped 6% in its expansion to 61 venues with $280K. This film received a great response at its screening at the Toronto Film Festival, but it’s a tough sell, akin to being a Guy Ritchie Scarface given its local, hard-to-understand-British accents (particularly by one of the Kray twins). It doesn’t have the resonance that U.S. gangster pics like Black Mass or The Departed have with U.S. audiences. Tom Hardy is sublime as the Kray twins, and hopefully the film finds a bigger limited audience. To Universal’s credit, they’re not blowing this out to the flyover states like they did with Steve Jobs, but they may not be blowing this out overall. Decent holds all around by Carol (-27%), Spotlight (-36%) and Brooklyn (-38%) as we head into SAG and Golden Globes nom week:

The top 13 films per studio-reported estimates as compiled by Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka from Rentrak Theatrical actuals:

 

1). The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (LGF), 4,086 theaters (-89) / 3-day cume: $18.9M (-64%) / Per screen avg: $4,615 /Total cume: $227.4M/Wk 3

2). Krampus (U/Legendary), 2,902 theaters / 3-day cume: $16.3M / Per screen: $5,615 /Wk 1

3). The Good Dinosaur (DIS), 3,749 theaters / 3-day cume: $15.3M (-61%)/ Per screen: $4,087 /Total cume: $75.8M/Wk 2

4). Creed (MGM/New Line/WB), 3,424 theaters (+20) / 3-day cume: $15M(-49%)/ Per screen: $5,378 /Total cume: $64.6M /Wk 2

5). Spectre (SONY/MGM), 2,840 theaters (-100)/ 3-day cume: $5.5M (-57%)/ Per screen: $1,945 /Total cume: $184.6M /Wk 5

6). The Night Before (SONY), 2,794, theaters (-166)/ 3-day cume: $5M (-40%)/ Per screen: $1,800 /Total cume: $32.1M/Wk 3

7). The Peanuts Movie (FOX), 2,917 theaters (-172)/ 3-day cume: $3.6M (-63%)/ Per screen: $1,224 /Total cume: $121.5M /Wk 5

8). Spotlight (OPRD), 980 theaters (+83) / 3-day cume: $2.8 (-36%) / Per screen: $2,857 /Total cume: $16.5M /Wk 5

9). Brooklyn (FSL), 906 theaters (+61) / 3-day cume: $2.4M (-38%)/ Per screen: $2,693 /Total cume: $11.2M /Wk 5

10). Secret In Their Eyes (STX), 2,147 theaters (-245) / 3-day cume: $2M (-56%)/ Per screen: $901 /Total cume: $17.2M/Wk 3

11). The Martian (FOX), 1,140 theaters (-280) / 3-day cume: $1.6M (-50%)/ Per screen: $1,409 /Total cume: $220.8M / Wk 10

12). Love The Coopers (LGF), 1,639 theaters (-228)/ 3-day cume: $1.5M (-51%)/ Per screen: $924 /Total cume: $22.7M/Wk 4

13). Chi-Raq (RSA), 305 theaters / 3-day cume: $1.2M / Per screen: $3,929 /Wk 1

14). Trumbo (BST), 660 theaters (+43)/ 3-day cume: $951K (-41%)/ Per screen: $1,441 /Total cume: $4.2M /Wk 5

15). Victor Frankenstein (FOX), 2,797 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $747K (-70%)/ Per screen: $267 /Total cume: $5.1M/Wk 2

16). The Letters (FSR), 886 theaters / 3-day cume: $701K / Per screen: $791 /Wk 1

17). Bridge Of Spies (DIS), 536 theaters (-99)/ 3-day cume: $685K (-50%)/ Per screen: $1,277/Total cume: $68.6M/Wk 8

18). Tamasha (UTV), 165 theaters (-17) / 3-day cume: $348K (-65%)/ Per screen: $2,107 /Total cume: $2M/Wk 2

19). Legend (UNI), 61 theaters (+21) /3-day cume: $280K (-6%)/ Per screen: $4,587 /Total cume: $923K/Wk 3

20). Goosebumps (SONY), 433 theaters (-181) /3-day cume: $269K (-64%)/ Per screen: $621 /Total cume: $78.1K/Wk 8

Notables:

Carol (TWC), 4 theaters (0)/ 3-day cume: $145K (-27%) / Per screen: $36,281/Total: $815K/Wk 3

The Danish Girl (FOC), 4 theaters (0)/ 3-day cume: $104K (-44%)/ Per screen: $26,088/Total cume: $350K/Wk 2

A Royal Night Out (ATLAS), 155 theaters / 3-day cume: $101K / Per screen: $651 /Wk 1

Youth (FSL), 4 theaters / 3-day cume: $78K/ Per screen: $19,521/Wk 1

Macbeth (TWC), 5 theaters / 3-day cume: $70K / Per screen: $13,967/Wk 1

Hitchcock/Truffaut (CMG), 3 theaters / 3-day cume: $28K / Per screen: $9,393/Total cume: $36K / Wk 1

She Remembers, She Forgets (CCF), 11 theaters / 3-day cume: $13.5K / Per screen: $1,228/Wk 1

The World Of Kanako (DHF), 11 theaters / 3-day cume: $7K / Per screen: $621/Wk 1

Capture The Flag (PAR IN), 20 theaters / 3-day cume: $7K / Per screen: $334/Wk 1

River Of Fundament (INC), 1 theaters / 3-day cume: $4,938 /Wk 1

2ND/3RD UPDATE, Saturday midnight & 8:52AM: The first post-Thanksgiving weekend in December has a reputation for crapping out at the box office, but total ticket sales this time around aren’t looking that bad.

Even though the top 20 films on Friday totaled $28.5M, off 60% from Black Friday  –one of the more robust moviegoing days of the year — they’re expected to ring up $94M over the 3-day weekend. That figure is already outstripping the lowest grossing frames of 2015, i.e. the disastrous Halloween weekend (Oct. 30-Nov 1, $74M), the weekend before Labor Day (Aug. 28-30, $87.8M)…the list goes on. In fact, this FSS is already set to beat the same frame a year ago, which totaled $78.2M. Turnstiles slow down greatly prior to Christmas as the masses become sidelined with holiday activities.

Peg the-better-than-expected weekend to a mostly healthy set of holdovers populated by Katniss, Adonis Creed and Arlo the dinosaur as well as Universal/Legendary’s Krampus, which is besting its $10M-$13M opening estimates with $15.3M. In fact, Krampus is twisting The Good Dinosaur‘s arm for second place. All four films are generating in excess of $14M, which wasn’t the case a year ago when Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and D’works/Fox’s Penguins of Madagascar were the only two churning out double digit grosses with, respectively, $22M and $10.9M. Some distribs have told Deadline that the most dependable demo to turn up at the cinema prior to The Force Awakens on Dec. krampus18 is the under 25 set versus the adults. That group will return between Christmas and New Year’s weekend. CinemaScore gave Krampus a B- but remember that whenever a horror film hits the B range, it’s like getting a wet, sloppy kiss from the audience; few horror titles, if any, receive As. The first Insidious, which was rated PG-13, earned a B and ended its run at $54M, a 4X multiple off its $13.3M opening. Moreover, Christmas-horror hybrids are rare among the major distribs. Silent Night, Deadly Night is the one cult title that comes to mind, although a commenter reminded us about MGM’s Black Christmas from 2006. Krampus in its opening is already close to beating that film’s entire $16.3M run. RelishMix notes that the social media was light for Krampus with a total 22.7M social media universe across Twitter, Instragram, YouTube and Facebook. But the fanbase is finding this film. While horror-philes always show up on opening day, and less so on Saturday, Krampus isn’t projected to fall that much: Just 5% from its Friday take of $6.05M.

hunger games mockingjay part 2Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is currently looking at a FSS that’s lower than the $20M-$21M everyone was expecting with an estimated take of $18.8M. According to RelishMix, Hunger Games-related Twitter hashtags totaled close to 4,300, edging out those for Creed (4,134), Krampus (2,213), and The Good Dinosaur (1,503). The social conversation is marked by mixed feelings over the series ending, as well as plenty of spoiler discussions. By the end of the weekend, MJ2‘s total stateside cume of $229M will tail MJ1‘s by $30.9MAs we analyzed last weekend, one of the reasons why Mockingjay as a book and movie has dogged the first two installments is because it transitioned Hunger Games out of the whole fun of the games and the love triangle to proletariat revolution story.

good dinosaurDisney/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur is looking at a second weekend drop of -61% with $15.1M, which is a bit steeper than the -57% posted by Penguins last year, and lower than Tangled‘s -56% sophomore ease. However by Sunday, Good Dinosaur will be falling behind that Disney Thanksgiving release by 20% through its second weekend.

Meanwhile, RelishMix observes that those on social are saying that MGM/New Line/WB’s Creed is the best Rocky film since the original, with high praise for Michael P. Jordan’s performance as Apollo Creed’s son. Facebook fans are touting Sylvester Stallone for a supporting actor Oscar nom. Currently, Creed is looking at $14.6M in its second weekend.

chi-raqSpike Lee-directed titles are distributed in one of two ways: Either they go wide in 1,100-plus engagements or they debut in a few hundred theaters. On the bright side, the $1.2M projected weekend for Chi-Raq at 305 playdates is better than Lee’s redux of Oldboy which made $885K at 583 sites, however, critics hated that film. Chi-Raq, which tackles urban violence, carries a 79% fresh rating, and is considered an improvement in the director’s oeuvre, though not in the same breath as Do the Right Thing which opened to $3.56M at 353 theaters in June 1989 and made 7.7x that with a final B.O. of $27.5M. Chi-Raq is pulling in a similar amount of money per theater as Creed at $4K.

the letters adFreestyle Releasing’s Mother Teresa movie The Letters is currently estimated to bring in $835K at 886 theaters. Recent faith-based titles such as Captive and 90 Minutes in Heaven have opened in a similar number of theaters, but they’ve respectively posted better debuts of $1.39M and $2M. Even though these are different types of Christian movies, it’s a puzzlement that a movie about one of the most popular religious figures in the world would get lost among the faithful at the B.O., particularly one with a notable cast, read Juliet Stevenson, Rutger Hauer and Max von Sydow. When it comes to generating decent box office results from the faith-based, a distributor doesn’t necessarily need to have a cinematic epic like The Passion of the Christ on their hands.

Legend' film - 2015Spotlight and Brooklyn are staying alive in the top 10 thanks to their expanded runs during their fifth frames. Universal’s Legend is also holding quite strong with an amazing -3% dip in its expansion from 40 to 61 sites during its third FSS. Weinstein Co.’s Carol is staying put at four NY and LA hubs and also showing a great -30% hold in its third weekend. The Todd Haynes-directed 1950s lesbian love story is still besting period transgender title The Danish Girl from Focus, $137K to $105K in its weekend B.O. The specialty B.O. is bound to get a bounce next weekend after SAG and Golden Globe nominations are announced.

The top 13 titles for the weekend of Dec. 4-6 as of 8:45AM on Saturday per industry estimates as compiled by Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka. Friday is versus the same day a week ago:

1). The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (LGF), 4,086 theaters (-89) / $5.7M Fri. (-73%) / 3-day cume: $18.8M (-64%) /Total cume: $227.3M/Wk 3

2). Krampus (U/Legendary), 2,902 theaters / $6.05M Fri. / 3-day cume: $15.3M /Wk 1

3). The Good Dinosaur (DIS), 3,749 theaters / $3.4M Fri. (-78%) / 3-day cume: $15.1M (-61%)/Total cume: $75.6M/Wk 2

4). Creed (MGM/New Line/WB), 3,424 theaters (+20) / $4.6M Fri. (-61%) / 3-day cume: $14.6M (-51%)/Total cume: $64.2M /Wk 2

5). Spectre (SONY/MGM), 2,840 theaters (-100)/ $1.6M Fri. (-69%)/ 3-day cume: $5.6M (-57%)/Total cume: $184.6M /Wk 5

6). The Night Before (SONY), 2,794, theaters (-166)/ $1.58M Fri.(-51%)/ 3-day cume: $4.9M (-41%)/Total cume: $32M/Wk 3

7). The Peanuts Movie (FOX), 2,917 theaters (-172)/ $782K Fri. (-80%) / 3-day cume: $3.4M (-60%)/Total cume: $121.3M /Wk 5

8). Spotlight (OPRD), 980 theaters (+83) / $828K Fri. (-50%) / 3-day cume: $2.9 (-35%) /Total cume: $16.6M /Wk 5

9). Brooklyn (FSL), 906 theaters (+61) / $744K Fri. (-49%)/3-day cume: $2.7M (-32%)/Total cume: $11.4M /Wk 5

10). Secret In Their Eyes (STX), 2,147 theaters (-245) / $605K Fri.(-64%) / 3-day cume: $2M (-54%)/Total cume: $17.3M/Wk 3

11). The Martian (FOX), 1,140 theaters (-280) / $453K Fri. (-66%)/ 3-day cume: $1.6M (-50%)/ Total cume: $220.8M / Wk 10

12). Love The Coopers (LGF), 1,639 theaters (-228)/ $441K Fri. (-64%) / 3-day cume: $1.5M (-51%)/Total cume: $22.7M/Wk 4

13). Chi-Raq (RSA), 305 theaters / $435K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.2M /Wk 1

NOTABLES:

The Letters (FSR), 886 theaters / $246K Fri./3-day cume: $835K / Wk 1

Victor Frankenstein (FOX), 2,797 theaters / $226K Fri. (-76%)/3-day cume: $751K (-70%)/Total cume: $5.1M/Wk 2

Legend (UNI), 61 theaters (+21) / $86K Fri. (-23%) /3-day cume: $288K (-3%)/Total cume: $931K/Wk 3

Carol (TWC), 4 theaters / $40K Fri. (-41%) /3-day cume: $137K (-30%) /3-day PTA: $34K/Total: $807K/Wk 3

YouthThe Danish Girl (FOC), 4 theaters / $30K Fri. (-61%)/3-day cume: $105K (-44%)/ Per screen: $26K /Total cume: $350K/Wk 2

Youth (FSL), 4 theaters / $24K Fri./3-day cume: $80K /PTA: $20K/Wk 1

Macbeth (TWC), 5 theaters / $22K Fri./3-day cume: $73K /PTA: $14K/Wk 1

1st UPDATE, Friday 7:38AM: Universal/Legendary’s horror comedy Krampus is the only studio release this weekend, and with fewer premium choices, it gives you an idea of just how bad the box office overall will be. That’s just the way it is following the Thanksgiving stretch; quite often the B.O. falls The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 - 2015into the pits as moviegoers get sidelined by holiday activities. Krampus made $637,000 from 7 PM previews last night, and industry estimates think it can get to $10M-$13M at 2,899 theaters for the weekend, putting it in fourth place in a third Katniss-dominant frame.

Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, having already bagged $208.5M through two weeks, is looking at a $20M-$21M FSS at 4,086, which is 32 more theaters than MJ1 had at the same point in time.

It’s been a while since Christmas and horror intertwined in a mainstream studio way — arguably since TriStar’s 1984 release Silent Night, Deadly Night (which made $2.5M at the B.O. back then). Because it’s a PG-13 horror film, Krampus should have the benefit of pulling in teen girls. Among the under 25 set, guys and girls aren’t that far apart. Overall critics aren’t totally against Krampus, giving it a 65% Rotten Tomatoes score. However, click on the top critics, and they just hate it at 29% rotten.

Creed - Movie hub web news entertainment trailers reviews - Movieholic HubBringing up spots 2, 3 and 5 on the chart this weekend will be Disney’s The Good Dinosaur (FSS projection $19M-$20M, current cume: $60.4M), MGM/New Line’s Creed from Warner Bros. ($15M-$17M projection, current cume: $49.6M), and Sony/MGM/Eon’s Spectre ($5M-$6M, current cume: $179M). Creed remained the solid No. 2 choice behind MJ2 during the weekdays this past week, earning $1.6M yesterday. Earlier this week, the National Board of Review named Sylvester Stallone best supporting actor for his reprise of Rocky Balboa.

Also opening today in 304 theaters is Spike Lee’s Chi-raq from Roadside Attractions, which is a modern update of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata set against Chicago’s gang violence. Also, Freestyle Releasing has the Mother Teresa biopic The Letters in about 1,000 locations. Radius-TWC is debuting Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth in five theaters, and will shortly make it available on Amazon Prime in the coming weeks. Fox Searchlight is taking Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth out at the Hollywood Arclight, the Landmark on Pico as well as the Angelika and the Lincoln Plaza in New York City.