Gobble, gobble, gobble. We hope you had a good Thanksgiving weekend with your loved ones, but clearly some of you were sneaking out to the movies to deflect those conversations around the dinner table about Trump, Carson, bigoted ideas about Mosques and Muslims, and some being under the delusion that Planned Parenthood did anything wrong. But we suppose that’s just life. Regardless, it was a healthy box office weekend, with “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 2” winning the race again and dropping only -49.7%. After two weeks of release, the ‘Hunger Games’ finale has almost grossed $200 million domestically, and worldwide the film already stands at $440 million. So yes, while ‘Mockingjay Part 2’ opened to the lowest grossing opening of the series domestically last weekend, if this keeps up, it should get within spitting distance of at least the original ‘Hunger Games’ movie ($694.4 million). Will it reach the $755.4 million of ‘Mockingjay – Part 1’? Lets see what week three and four drops are like before we make any bold predictions.
The long weekend was a big boon to new releases as well. Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” had a five-day gross of $55 million and a three day weekend gross of $39 million. Though, by Pixar standards, it’s pretty low: the third lowest opening film in their history and compared to 2015’s “Inside Out” (a whopping $90 million opening), it’s nearly chump change. The normally ecstatic reviews for Pixar’s films were tempered this time, and surely that made it difficult for buzz to cut through the noise. Still, “The Good Dinosaur” earned a strong A Cinemascore, and animated tooners for kids movies tend to stick around throughout the holiday season and beyond, so Pixar’s dino pic won’t be going extinct anytime soon.
Also earning an A Cinemascore and being met it with rapturous reviews was Warner Bros.’ “Rocky” spin-off, “Creed.” The Ryan Coogler-directed boxing drama, once again co-starring Sylvester Stallone, and starring Michael B. Jordan, did terrific business; a $30 million three-day weekend haul and a $42.6 million five-day total. That’s the highest opening for any ‘Rocky’ movie (even adjusted for inflation) by a considerable margin: the second highest picture, “Rocky IV,” is 33% lower. This one should stay in the ring for several weeks as well, as the reception on social media has only been growing louder and louder.
OK, it wasn’t all rosy for new releases, Fox’s “Victor Frankenstein” completely crashed and burned. On 2,797 screens, the movie grossed just $2.3 million this weekend for a pitiful $840 per screen average. That is the fourth worst opening of 2015 for any wide release and there were several of those turkey this year (“Rock The Kasbah,” “Jem And The Holograms,” and “We Are Your Friends”). It’s also the 17th worst wide opening of all time (or since Box Office started tracking in 1982). The movie earned a C Cinemascore and couldn’t even crack the top 10. And you thought it couldn’t get worse than poor drama openings like “Our Brand Is Crisis” and “Burnt” this fall. Audiences can be unforgiving even to genre fare they don’t care for.
In its 4th week of release, Sony’s “Spectre” demonstrated an amazing hold, with a minuscule -14.9% drop from last weekend. Worldwide, the movie is at $750 million — the second highest grossing James Bond film by a 20% margin. Still, the movie is lagging domestically compared to top earner “Skyfall.” Just look at ‘Hunger Games’ in comparison: the final ‘Mockingjay’ will hit $200 million in just shy of two weeks where as after four, “Spectre” has just cracked $175 million at home. We’re conservatively looking at a $850 million worldwide-grossing movie. A fantastic figure, but one that could be about 20% down from the billion-dollar “Skyfall” thanks to a North American response that’s just nowhere as enthusiastic as its predecessor (around 33% lower). Fox’s “The Peanuts Movie” is still doing solid business and cracked the $115 million mark. Sony’s comedy “The Night Before” from Seth Rogen didn’t open up to spectacular numbers, but the Christmas laffer has found its audience: its shown a remarkable -17% hold in its second week of release, which bodes well for hanging out in the top 10 all season long. Even STX‘s “The Secret in their Eyes” remake, a movie that audiences and critics have been extremely indifferent to, has shown legs; the picture only dropped -32.3% in week two, so clearly names like Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman still mean something.
Now the Oscar season is also starting to take shape. What indie films are rising in the collective cinema consciousness and no doubt spreading by word of mouth? Well, the two recent winners are Open Road’s “Spotlight” and Fox Searchlight’s “Brooklyn,” both of which have cracked the box-office top 10 and are putting up strong numbers. Both pictures were already likely going to factor into the Oscar race, but these numbers surely confirm their placement among nominations for smaller indie pictures. Not so assured in the awards season race are films like A24‘s “Room,” Universal‘s “Steve Jobs,” and Focus Features‘ “Suffragette.” Yes, they will still factor in, and never underestimate the Academy’s love of Oscar-bait drama, but all three picture have yet to catch on in the speciality markets and so this could point to their overall appeal not being as widespread as some initially thought. We shall see.
Ridley Scott‘s “The Martian” is about to drop out of the top 10, but it’s still got a terrific hold (-13.1%) and has grossed $545 million worldwide ($218 million domestically). A hopeful crowd-pleaser, what might have been just a solid studio moneymaker in a stronger year has turned into an Oscar frontrunner: look for it to bag nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Matt Damon), and possibly more big nods (Best Director).
Speaking of the specialty division, Focus Feature might still have some awards-season luck yet with “The Danish Girl.” On four screens, the movie made $185,000 for a $46,250 per screen average; that’s the sixth highest PSA of 2015. It’s been met with a so-so critical reaction, but maybe this holds out some hope. Still, even the second week per screen average of The Weinstein Company’s “Carol” was higher: $203,076 from 4 screens for a $50,769 PSA. Those are impressive numbers worth keeping a luminous gaze on.
1. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 2 — $51,600,000 ($ 198,312,000)
2. The Good Dinosaur — $39,192,000 ($55,565,000)
3. Creed — $30,120,000 ($42,600,000)
4. Spectre — $12,800,000 ($176,100,000)
5. The Peanuts Movie — $9,700,000 ($116,757,000)
6. The Night Before — $8,200,000 ($24,100,000)
7. The Secret In Their Eyes — $4,502,000 ($14,031,000)
8. Spotlight — $4,495,000 ($12,347,000)
9. Brooklyn — $3,832,000 ($7,290,000)
10. The Martian — $3,300,000 ($218,641,000)