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‘Split’ Stays At No. 1, But Oscar Movies Are The Real Box-Office Story

"A Dog's Purpose" held up well under all that bad PR, but this is the best year in memory for Oscar movie performance.

“Split”

A very strong holdover for “Split” and boosts for leading Oscar contenders “La La Land” and “Hidden Figures” made up for this weekend’s lack of new entry equal to “Kung Fu Panda” a year ago. We continue to see original films rewarded and disappointing results for those titles designed to do far better overseas.

Of minor note are two Weinstein wider releases at or near the Top Ten. Matthew McConaughey starrer “Gold,” once an awards hopeful, managed less than $3.5 million in 2,166 theaters and looks like it will vacate most of those before long. “The Founder,” in slightly more than half as many theaters, did a little under $2.7 million its second weekend. The good news is that it only dropped 21 percent, suggesting life ahead, although short of original hopes for the story about the McDonald’s empire.

A Dog's Purpose

“A Dog’s Purpose”

Universal

The Top Ten

1. Split (Universal) Week 2 – Last weekend #1

$26,269,000 (-34%) in 3,199 theaters (+161); PTA (per theater average): $8,212; Cumulative: $77,999,000

2. A Dog’s Purpose (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 43; Est. budget: $22 million

$18,386,000 in 3,059 theaters; PTA: $6,010; Cumulative: $18,386,000

3. Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox) Week 3 – Last weekend #3

$14,000,000 (-11%) in 3,351 theaters (-65); PTA: $4,178; Cumulative: $104,022,000

4. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Sony) NEW – Cinemascore: B; Metacritic: 53; Est. budget: $40 million

$13,850,000 in 3,104 theaters; PTA: $3,104; Cumulative: $13,850,000

5. La La Land (Lionsgate) Week 8 – Last weekend #5

$12,050,000 (+43%) in 3,136 theaters (+1,271); PTA: $3,842; Cumulative: $106,509,000

6. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage Week 2 – Last weekend #2

$8,250,000 (-59%) in 3,651 theaters (no change); PTA: $2,260; Cumulative: $33,488,000

7. Sing (Universal) Week 6 – Last weekend #4

$6,214,000 (-31%) in 2,702 theaters (-491); PTA: $2,300; Cumulative: $257,405,000

8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Disney)  Week 7 – Last weekend #6

$5,124,000 (-29%) in 2,049 theaters (-554); PTA: $2,501; Cumulative: $520,050,000

9. Monster Trucks (Paramount) Week 3 – Last weekend #7

$4,100,000 (-42%) in 2,496 theaters (-623); PTA: $1,643; Cumulative: $28,135,000

10. Gold (Weinstein) NEW – Cinemascore: B-; Metacritic: 49; Est. budget: $15 million (acquisition cost)

$3,470,000 in 2,166 theaters; PTA: $1,602; Cumulative: $3,470,000

The Takeaways

A bit down from last year, but for one good reason. Animated titles from strong franchises usually aren’t January releases, but last year 20th Century Fox launched “Kung Fu Panda 3” worldwide at Chinese New Year, in the month’s final weekend. Its $41 million debut, at the high end for the month, made it tougher for the equivalent date this year to match.

The pre-Superbowl weekend — with the next one often the lowest of the year — makes studios shy about launching top product. Also, with studios back in the Oscar game after years of ceding it to specialized units, it makes sense to leave room for leading contenders and their post-nominations appeal

The net result was a Top 10 total of $112 million, off five percent from last year. It adds to the 2017 deficit, but it’s minor. The real test comes in two weeks, when three potential successes — “The LEGO Batman Movie” (Warner Bros.), ” “Fifty Shades Darker” (Universal) and “John Wick: Chapter Two” (Lionsgate) — open on the same weekend that hosted last year’s sensational “Deadpool.”

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