December 2, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 12.2.2018


OPENINGS:  At $6.5M, THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE (Screen Gems/Sony) performed adequately for a low-budget horror item placed in one of the lower-grossing weekends of the year.  Possession also earned $4.1M in 17 international territories, the start of a release that will extend into early 2019.  It has around $30M in production and worldwide marketing costs, so it still has a hill to climb before it can start thinking about profit.

HOLDOVERS:  The excitement over RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (Disney) dissipated past.  Its opening day was 18% above Moana and 39% above Coco, but its $25.8M 2nd weekend (down 54% from last week’s 3-day holiday weekend) was respectively down 9%/6% from those.  That suggests that it won’t have the same staying power, especially when the rest of the holiday family movies start pouring in, although a $200M US total won’t be anything to complain about.  Overseas, it’s still in only 27 markets as it gradually widens, and has a $87.7M total after a $33.7M weekend.

THE GRINCH (Illumination/Universal) seems to be benefiting from Ralph‘s cooling, down 42% in its 3rd weekend to $17.3M, and now on a track that could bring it to $250M in the US.  However, the Grinch property is much less of an international attraction, and it’s only at $64.8M after a $27.1M weekend in most major territories (although not yet China, Japan and Russia).

CREED II (MGM/New Line/Warners) dropped 53% to $16.8M, a bit steeper than the 49% drop for the first Creed‘s Weekend 2.  The sequel’s big start may still keep it ahead of its predecessor, with a $125M US total ahead.  Early in its overseas run, it’s at $11.4M after a $10M weekend in 29 territories.

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD (Warners) is shaping up as a major box office disappointment in the US, down 62% to $11.2M in its 3rd weekend, and now on track for only $170M domestically, down 27% from the first Beasts.  It’s much bigger overseas, with $385.3M to date after a $40.2M weekend in all major markets, but with $350M in costs, a $625-650M worldwide total is only going to provide modest profit, and Warners has to be worried about continued erosion if the 3rd installment (of a projected 5) doesn’t please audiences.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Regency/20th) will go in the books as one of the year’s most profitable films  In the US, it’s on its way to $180M after a 42% Weekend 5 dip to $8.1M.  The real bonanza is overseas, where it’s at $375.1M after a $37M weekend, with excellent week-to-week holds in many markets.  Put another way, its worldwide total is going to be very similar to Grindelwald‘s, on a production cost that’s $150M lower.

INSTANT FAMILY (Paramount) had a fair hold, down 42% to $7.2M, and may reach $60M in the US.  It’s begun its international release with a modest $3.4M in 12 territories, a campaign that will extend throughout early 2019.

The news didn’t get any better for ROBIN HOOD (Summit/Lionsgate).  In the US, it fell 49% to $4.7M, and isn’t likely to get past $35M.  Overseas, it’s at a similarly ugly $26.3M after a $15.1M weekend in 67 territories.

WIDOWS (Regency/20th) dropped 47% to $4.4M, and might stretch to $45M in the US.  It’s at $21.3M overseas after a $5.5M weekend in 60 markets.

GREEN BOOK (DreamWorks/Participant/Universal) had the best hold in the Top 10, down 29%, which demonstrates that word of mouth is kicking in.  But even so, a $3.9M weekend won’t get it very far.  Next weekend is probably make-or-break for Green Book, as it expands in expectation of major Golden Globes nominations.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE FAVOURITE (Fox Searchlight) expanded strongly to 34 theatres with a $32.5K per-theatre weekend average, equivalent to the $27.9K average that The Shape of Water had when it widened to 41, and Lady Bird‘s $32K at 37.  The weekend’s most high-profile opening was ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE (Orion/MGM), with a mild $10K average at 5.  (Note:  distributors didn’t release box office figures for NEVER LOOK BACK (Sony Classics) or HEAD FULL OF HONEY (Warners), and of course Netflix continues to be silent on ROMA.)  AT ETERNITY’S GATE (CBS/Lionsgate) expanded to 48 with a slender $3800 average.  SHOPLIFTERS (Magnolia) averaged $7600 at 14.  BORDER (Neon) averaged $1100 at 73.  BECOMING ASTRID (Music Box) widened to 15 with a $1300 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  There are no wide releases scheduled for the weekend before the holiday rush begins.  Awards hopefuls MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS (Focus/Universal), BEN IS BACK (Roadside) and VOX LUX (Neon) will begin their limited releases.

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."