November 11, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 11.11.2018


OPENINGS:  THE GRINCH (Illumination/Universal) rode its family movie 47% Saturday bump to a $66M weekend, 20% better than 2000’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  There are relatively few recent mid-November family movie releases, because Disney has established its ownership of the Thanksgiving corridor that starts less than 2 weeks later (this year’s installment is Ralph Breaks the Internet), but Grinch is a bit above the $63.1M opening of 2008’s Madagascar 2, which reached $180M in the US.  The challenge will be to hold onto theatres deep into December.  Overseas, The Grinch has a gradual opening strategy, and is currently in 23 territories with a $12.7M weekend.

OVERLORD (Paramount) launched with a slim $10.1M, and the 2% drop on Saturday didn’t suggest strong word of mouth.  Production costs of $40M (which means $100M with worldwide marketing) are relatively high for the horror genre, and breakeven will be hard to find.  Any success would have to come overseas, but the early news there is no better with $9.2M in 52 markets.

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB (MGM/Regency/Columbia/Sony) failed to reboot its franchise with an $8M weekend, which included a 5% drop on Saturday.  Its costs were similar to Overlord‘s, and it faces instant competition next weekend from Widows as a female-led thriller, so the outlook is bleak.  It has $8.3M in international release.

HOLDOVERS:  BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Regency/20th) held well, down 40% to $30.9M from last week’s opening.  That’s not quite as strong as the 34% Weekend 2 drop for A Star Is Born, but it will certainly do.  Rhapsody should get to $160M in the US on moderate costs, and it’s at $185.3M overseas after a $63.1M weekend in 78 territories.

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS (Disney), hurt by The Grinch, fell 53% in its 2nd weekend to $9.6M, and will struggle to get past $55M in the US.  It’s stronger overseas, with $61.4M after a $13.5M weekend in 45 markets, but not enough to reach profit on $225M in costs.

A STAR IS BORN (MGM/Warners) continues to hold sensationally, down 27% to $8M in its 6th weekend, and now on a trajectory that may reach $195M in the US.  It’s at $144.8M overseas.

NOBODY’S FOOL (Paramount) fell 52% from last week’s opening to $6.5M for the weekend, and probably won’t reach $40M in the US, a breakeven proposition at best even with Tyler Perry’s thrifty budgeting.

VENOM (Tencent/Columbia/Sony) is starting to close up shop in the US, down 38% in its 6th weekend to $4.9M, with a $215M US total ahead.  But it’s just roared into China with a massive $111M opening, the 2nd best for any superhero movie there behind ony Infinity War, and with that sparking a $118.2M overall international weekend, it’s now at $467.3M overseas.

HALLOWEEN (Blumhouse/Miramax/Universal) fell 65% in its 4th weekend to $3.8M, now on track for $165M in the US.  It’s been tamer overseas but still strong at $88.7M.

THE HATE U GIVE (20th) lost another chunk of theatres and dropped 38% to $2.1M, still on its way to $30M in the US.  It also has $2.1M overseas.

BEAUTIFUL BOY (Amazon) widened to 776 theatres, but only managed $1.4M for the weekend, a wan $1800 per-theatre weekend average.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Note:  although THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS (Netflix) marks a change for its distributor in that it’s getting a theatrical release before launching on the streaming service, Netflix is sticking with its policy of not releasing any box office results.  Perhaps THE FRONT RUNNER (Columbia/Sony) should have done the same, after a disastrous $14K weekend average (after a Tuesday opening) at 4 theatres.  CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (Fox Searchlight) expanded to 391 theatres with an OK $3800 average.  BOY ERASED (Focus/Universal) widened to 77 with a moderate $9400 average.  A PRIVATE WAR (Aviron), now at 40 theatres, averaged a soft $5K.  WILDLIFE (IFC) averaged a weak $1300 at 106.  MARIA BY CALLAS (Sony Classics) expanded to 26 with a mild $3700 average.  BURNING (Well Go), spread to 27 with a $3K average.  BORDER (Neon) averaged $3K at 15.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The event opening is FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD (Warners), which will be counterprogrammed by the comedy INSTANT FAMILY (Paramount) and the adult-aimed WIDOWS (20th).  Limited releases include AT ETERNITY’S GATE (CBS), and a brief run of GREEN BOOK (Universal) before that film goes wide for Thanksgiving.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."