4TH UPDATE/WRITETHRU SUNDAY AM after Friday and Saturday posts: For the third year in a row, Disney owned the slow post-Thanksgiving period. That’s thanks to Ralph Breaks the Internet, which, according to studio figures, drew $25.8M at 4,017 theaters, -54%. Gross-wise, Ralph 2‘s second weekend is slightly behind that of Disney’s previous Thanksgiving second weekend holdovers, Moana ($28.2M, -50%) and Coco ($27.5M, -46%). Total by EOD for Ralph 2 through 12 days should be $119.2M. Non-family audiences are showing up big at 44%, followed by 38% kids and 18% parents in weekend two, per PostTrak.
And if you though this weekend was slow, just wait for next: There aren’t any major studio wide releases. In the post-Golden Globes nominations period, it’s the indies who’ll look to make a mark: Focus Features’ has the limited release of Mary Queen of Scots, Neon has Vox Lux, Roadside Attractions’ has Peter Hedges’ Ben Is Back starring Julia Roberts, and Universal has the 25th anniversary re-release of Oscar winner Schindler’s List.
Universal/Illumination’s The Grinch rebounded and stole second place away from MGM/New Line’s Creed II, $17.7M to $16.8M. The Dr. Seuss movie flew past the two-century mark with a running total of $203.5M, and joined other $200M+ domestic Seuss-grossing films as the first 2000 Grinch ($260M) and Illumination’s The Lorax ($214M). Second weekend exits for Creed II remained high with four-and-half stars and a diverse pull of 39% Caucasians, 35% African-Americans, and 18% Hispanic.
Dropping hard at-62% is Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, with $11.2M in weekend 3. The sequel is clearly not up to snuff of the first movie in regards to audience response (B+ to A), and critical response (40% Rotten to 74% Certified Fresh). Creed II‘s second weekend is ahead of its 2015 predecessor ($14.9M), and its running total by Sunday of $80.7M is also raging ahead through 12 days by 25%.
Fifth place is 20th Century Fox/New Regency/GK Films’ Bohemian Rhapsody, which in weekend 5 is eyeing $8.1M, -42%, for a running total of $164.4M. The Freddie Mercury biopic is hitting a high note around the globe and passing the half-billion point.
Screen Gems’ R-rated horror film, The Possession of Hannah Grace, with $6.5M over three-days, may not look so dazzling. But this $6M-budgeted title, with a $12M P&A spend, is good enough for Sony. The movie was a low-budget cash grab in the current slow marketplace and we’ve heard from finance sources that anything over $5.5M was considered to be a win for Sony internally. That said, don’t expect the movie to leg out that much. Critics weren’t kind, with a 27% Rotten Tomatoes score, and audiences weren’t over the moon with a C- CinemaScore and a (gulp) star and a half on PostTrak and a 37% definite recommend. In regards to Hannah Grace‘s CinemaScore, it’s down from Screen Gems’ late August 2016 hit Don’t Breathe (B+), but above this summer’s Slender Man, which did a D- and opened to $11.3M and finaled at $30.5M. Demos were 50/50 male-female, with nearly even quads all around, but with females under 25 leading: M25- (25%), M25+ (25%), F25- (29%), F25+ (21%). A mostly diverse draw in 43% Caucasians, 27% Hispanics, and 19% African-Americans.
Sony was always planning to launch a horror film this weekend, the previous title being the James Gunn-produced BrightBurn. In October, following the right-wing Twitter bash against the Guardians of the Galaxy director and his firing off the Disney/Marvel franchise, Sony gave BrightBurn some distance from that meshugaas and put the genre pic in a more warmer period, both weather-wise and financially on the calendar, opening Memorial Day weekend next year, May 24.
Shout-outs are in order for Universal/Participant Media/DreamWorks’ Green Book, which is looking to have one of the best three-day % holds of the weekend, -29% in its third go-round with $3.9M at 1,065. That’s positive word of mouth in effect (a huge 80% definite recommend in weekend 2 PostTrak exits with four and a half stars) and that should not be discounted. There are some who believe that after awards season, this Peter Farrelly-directed period movie legs out past $50M. Adults over 25 at 87% are attending, with 51% female/49% male. Diversity demos are 59% Caucasian, 18% African-American, 11% Hispanic, and 10% Asian.
Also doing well is Fox Searchlight’s expansion of The Favourite, which jumped from four New York and Los Angeles locations with a total of 34 new plays, including San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, and Phoenix. The Rachel Weisz-Emma Stone-Olivia Colman movie made $1.1M in its second weekend, with a great per-screen of $32.5K (the best of the weekend). Saturday’s business was up 9%, with $404K over Friday’s $368K. That average is ahead of the second weekend of expansion of The Shape of Water, which went from 2 to 41 locations and yielded a $27.8K per theater. The Favourite is playing to both Art house cinephile audiences (Landmark West L.A., Camelview Scottsdale) as well as hipper, younger crowds (Alamo Brooklyn and San Francisco, Union Square NY, and Arclight Hollywood). For Searchlight, the results in mainstream houses like the River East in Chicago and the Boston Commons are gratifying, as they indicate the pic’s ability to potentially cross over and broaden its audience. The Yorgos Lanthimos-directed British period piece expands to 12 more markets next weekend, with an 80-100 screen footprint. Running total by EOD is expected to be $1.67M.
Orion’s teen musical Anna and the Apocalypse launched at five locations, with $50K-$51K over the weekend, an awful $10k-$11K per screen. .
Warner Bros. has the Nick Nolte movie Head Full of Honey, which is German director Til Schweiger’s remake of his 2014 film about a man suffering from Alzheimer’s who embarks on a final road trip with his granddaughter. The movie tanked with $9K on 4 screens at Lincoln SQ, Union SQ, ArcLight Hollywood & Landmark for a truly bad $2,2K screen average.
WEEKEND B.O. FOR NOV. 30-DEC. 2
1ST UPDATE, FRIDAY 7:57AM: There’s only one new wide release this weekend and that’s Screen Gems microbudget R-Rated horror movie The Possession of Hannah Grace from helmer Diederik Van Rooijen, and last night from 1,866 locations, the movie made $625K from shows that started at 7PM.
Sony is expecting $3M for the weekend, however industry estimates think it could do $6M-$7M and that’s a great number we hear for this movie that cost around $6M and has an estimated P&A around $12M. The Possession of Hannah Grace, written by Brian Sieve and produced by Todd Garner and Sean Robins, follows Megan (Shay Mitchell) a cop fresh out of rehab who takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue. A disfigured cadaver arrives and she begins to face a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses.
Most of the major studios took off this weekend as far as wide entries because the post Thanksgiving-frame is typically a downer business wise as the holiday season ramps up and audiences become distracted. That said, genre tends to appeal to a certain size crowd, i.e. Universal’s Krampus during the post Turkey frame in 2015 which opened to $16.2M off a $15M production cost and went on to make $42.7M stateside.
In this scenario, Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet will continue to rule No. 1 in its second weekend with $31M, -45%, after a nine-day cume of $93.5M and MGM/New Line’s Creed II will continue to be No. 2 with a $20M, -44%, second outing following a $64.3M nine-day total to date. By Sunday, should Ralph 2 hit $124.5M, he’ll be pacing ahead of his first 2012 installment by 23%. Wreck-It Ralph made $189.4M in U.S./Canada and Ralph 2 could easily see over $230M.
Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ended its first week with $123.1M. It’s projected to earn $16M in its third weekend, -45%, for a running total by Sunday of $139.1M. That puts the J.K. Rowling written and produced Harry Potter spinoff 24% behind FB1 which ended its domestic run at $234M. If Grindelwald continues at this pace, it’s looking at around $177M.