November 25, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Coco” Takes Black Friday, “Justice League” Subdued, “Wonder” Strong, “Call Me” Starts Big


The only new opening on Black Friday was a limited release, but everything already in the market took the customary post-holiday leap.  COCO (Pixar/Disney) will easily win the 3-day weekend, after $19.1M on Friday according to preliminary numbers at DeadlineCoco continues to be on pace with Tangled ($19.5M on Black Friday), and it should have a $50M 3-day weekend, giving it $70M since Wednesday.  With outlier exceptions of Frozen on one end and The Good Dinosaur on the other, the Thanksgiving Disney animations tend to triple their initial 5-day gross, putting Coco on track for $200M+ in the US.

JUSTICE LEAGUE (RatPac/DC/Warners) earned $16.4M on Friday, and despite the holiday, that was down 57% from last Friday.  That’s about the same Friday-to-Friday drop that the Hunger Games installments have had in that slot, and better than the 65-75% plunges for the Twilight and next-to-last Harry Potter chapters.  However, it’s much worse than the 38% drop to $18.3M for last year’s Fantastic Beasts, which started lower than Justice League but is going to make up a lot of that lead.  If Justice League continues at this rate, it should have a $40M 3-day weekend, putting it on a road to perhaps $260M in the US.  We’ll see on Sunday how it’s holding overseas, but there are already estimates that Justice League will lose $100M or more worldwide because of its mammoth cost, definitely not the way Warners wanted to see out the year.

WONDER (Participant/Walden/Lionsgate) continues to be the sleeper of the season with $8.8M on Friday, down just 11% from last Friday.  It could have a $25M weekend, and is likely to reap healthy profits with $125M in the US.

THOR: RAGNAROK (Marvel/Disney) climbed 15% from last Friday to $6.5M, virtually the same Black Friday percentage result as Doctor Strange, and better than the 11% rise for Thor: The Dark World.  It should have a $16M 3-day weekend, and may get to $310M in the US, a slap in the face to Justice League.

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (20th) gained 32% from last Friday to $5.3M, for a $13M weekend that could power it to $100M in the US.

DADDY’S HOME 2 (Paramount) rose 27% from last Friday to $4.9M, for a possible $13M weekend.  It’s touch-and-go with $100M in the US, although that would still be a sizable drop from the first Daddy’s Home and its $150.4M.

THE STAR (Affirm/Sony) was only able to hold steady with last Friday at $2.8M, the arrival of Coco neutralizing the family holiday audience.  It may have an $8M weekend and will be aiming to hit $40M in the US.

ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ (Columbia/Sony) had a grim $1.8M Friday at 1648 theatres for a possible $4.5M weekend, and with little sign that Denzel Washington will figure strongly in the upcoming critics’ awards, it’s likely to fade quickly from the scene.

3 BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (Fox Searchlight) had a strong expansion to 590 theatres, on its way to a 3-day weekend per-theatre average around $7K, better than the $5900 average Spotlight had at 598, and just a bit below the $8300 average The Descendants had at 574.

By comparison, LADY BIRD (A24) faltered a bit as it widened to 741 with a weekend per-theatre average more like $5K.  However, the film should do very well when awards season kicks off next week, which should keep it in theatres through the holidays.

THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (Bleecker Street) didn’t attract much holiday cheer at 532 theatres, for a weekend per-theatre average that may not reach $2500.

The long-awaited arrival of CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (Sony Classics) went as carefully planned, with a Friday that paced ahead of Lady Bird ($125K vs. $108K) for what may be the biggest per-theatre weekend average of the year, perhaps $95K (and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Sunday estimate claims $100K).  It’s helped by the fact that its official 4-theatre opening is swollen by the number of screens carrying the film; in LA, the ArcLight Hollywood had it in 5 auditoriums that included the Cinerama Dome.  Call Me is assured of a strong awards season showing, so the question will be how far Sony Classics can run with it.

DARKEST HOUR (Focus/Universal) was subdued next to Call Me By Your Name, with a weekend per-theatre average around $40K, still a solid result especially since it began its 4-theatre run on Wednesday.


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."