I did attempt to write some of this in Seuss rhyme but it was just sad for everyone involved. Meaning it was too hard and that depressed me. So we’re sticking to what we know - industry trash talk!
One should never bet against a family movie at Christmas time - sorry, we can’t deny that tis the season anymore - but especially the juggernaut that is now Illumination. Yeah, their other Dr. Seuss adaptations have been, to put it mildly, hot trash, but The Grinch opened to surprisingly strong reviews, as well as an entertaining grouchy ad campaign that seemed in tune to the mood. And Benedict Cumberbatch as The Grinch is just great casting. Anyway, the film opened with around $66m, which makes it the third largest opening weekend for an animated title in November behind The Incredibles and Frozen. This one will definitely hold on strong too. Illumination are very close to taking over Disney’s animation kings mantle and they may very well do so soon if only because their films are typically much cheaper to produce.
Bohemian Rhapsody fell to number 2 with an extra $30.8m this weekend, but that’s less than 40% drop from last week and it’s already grossed $100m domestically. Still, fuck this movie and fuck Bryan Singer. I’m going to keep saying it until someone bloody deals with the problem.
In 3rd place is Overlord, with $9.2m. It’s an R rated grungy horror movie opening after Halloween, so the soft numbers aren’t a surprise, although given the strong reviews, I did expect a little more. It’s already opened to most of its international markets too and the numbers aren’t great.
But hey, they’re better than The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which fell two spots to number 4 with a 53% drop and $9.5m weekend. Remember, this film cost around $120m officially. Disney’s live-action game has been so tight recently, but this and A Wrinkle in Time are outliers. It’s smart for the studio to want to diversify beyond its own brand but that’s also what’s working so well for them right now. At least they’ve got a while to go before they run out of things to remake.
And it still did better than The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story. Shockingly, adding that second clunky part to the title didn’t help its numbers, as it opened to a $8m weekend. Reviews were tepid and frankly, was anyone asking for this? Sure, Fincher’s movie wasn’t a major commercial hit but those reviews were stellar and that film came hot off the success of the original trilogy of books and Swedish films. This feels so late to the table, and Claire Foy, otherwise a wonderful actress, was all sorts of wrong for Lisbeth Salander. Perhaps this series will finally die now.
Venom has made $206m domestically, but the real celebration this week came from its $111 MILLION opening weekend in China. That’s the 2nd highest debut ever for a superhero film in that market. For Venom! And I liked that film! Last week, the film was outside of the top 10 highest grossing films of 2018. Now it’s at number 7. Seriously Sony, just let Tom Hardy do whatever the fuck he wants for the sequel. Give him all the lobsters he wants.
One of the biggest drops of the week came, much to my surprise, with Suspiria. It had been building up such a strong couple of weeks in its limited release, but we’re only on week 3 and it dropped a sharp 66.7% this weekend. It’s grossed $1.9m domestically from a rumoured budget of around $20m. Amazon Studios have had a rough year, which is sad because, aside from Life Itself, they were all very well reviewed. And the painful part is that it’s still Life Itself was one that’s made more money. At least Beautiful Boy is building up steam.
I think we can safely say that nobody wanted to see a political movie released on election day. The Front Runner opened in 4 screens to $56k. Maybe this one can hang on and there are people out there eager for a film on the Gary Hart case but those middling reviews won’t help it and I’m not sure people want to escape from real life to see something like this. That may not bode well for the upcoming Dick Cheney film either.
This coming week sees the release of Green Book, which could be a major Oscar player (and is totally the next Three Billboards, for better or worse), the Van Gogh drama At Eternity’s Gate, the wonderful Steve McQueen heist drama Widows, a Mark Wahlberg comedy called Instant Family, and the new Fantastic Beasts and Oh My God Who Gives a S—t?
You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.
What films did you watch this weekend? Let us know in the comments.
Header Image Source: Getty Images.