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James Franco The Disaster Artist.jpg

Box Office Report: Oh Hai, Oscars!

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Industry | December 4, 2017 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Industry | December 4, 2017 |

It’s a weird week for new releases. Christmas is coming, Thanksgiving has past and there’s a new Star Wars on the horizon, so a lot of the bigger films are holding off for a bit while the indie favourites for awards season fully rev up for the coming campaigns. That’s how we have a week where there are no new releases at all in the North American top 10 at the box office, although that’s also not to say that it was a dry week for those less recent films. Coco held the top spot with an estimated $26.1m over this weekend, which means it’s now soared past $100m domestic gross after 12 days in release. It’s holding out strong for a $200m domestic total, which would put it about the same as its Disney predecessor Moana. Internationally, it’s holding out nicely too, with increased grosses in China and Spanish speaking countries embracing the project wholeheartedly. The film won’t see release in major territories like Australia, Japan and the UK until mid-March (boo), but these numbers are hopeful given how many feared that a) the film wasn’t being widely marketed enough, and b) that bloody Frozen short beforehand was driving everyone mad. Many theatres have since dropped the latter.

Justice League is hanging in at number 2 with around $16.5m, a 60% drop after the holiday weekend, although it’s now closing in on that $200m domestic gross. Internationally, it’s at around $567m, so if the official budget numbers are to be believed, it can break even in a couple of weeks. If the numbers are right. I’m still baffled by all that, to be honest.

Lionsgate will be delighted with the continuing dark horse domination of Wonder, which took in $12.5m in its third week and has now passed $88m domestically. Meanwhile, Thor: Ragnarok is closing in on $300m domestically with an extra $9.7m or so to the pot. It’s currently the 8th highest grossing film of 2017, at $816m, and only needs another $15m or so to overtake Wonder Woman, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Assuming that whole space battles film goes well and Justice League can push forward with its revenue, we may see 2017’s top 10 film list be without both IT and the 5th Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the latter of which would be a surprise.

Greta Gerwig’s indie zeitgeist hit Lady Bird made its way back into the top 10, jumping from 11 to 7, with $4.5m, making it the 4th largest domestic release for distributors A24 as its box office passed $17m. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see a woman making her directorial debut with such enthusiasm from both audiences and critics. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri added another 800 or so theatres to its run and jumped to number 8 with $4.5m.

The big releases this week came from the indie world, with A24 racking up another future hit thanks to the strong limited opening week of James Franco’s The Disaster Artist, which debuted at number 12 with $1.2m from just 19 screens. Who would have thought that Franco being Franco would finally pay off, and that one of the major Oscar contenders of the year would be about The Room? The other major indie hopeful of the week, Guillemo Del Toro’s fish fuck frenzy of perfection, The Shape of Water, opened at number 19 with $166,800 from 2 screens, making it the big hit of the week in terms of theatre to gross ratio. It’s one place above Wonder Wheel, the Woody Allen drama, which took in $140,555 from 5 screens, which still seems too high in my estimation.

For nostalgia lovers, the 20th anniversary re-release of Titanic, which is still James Cameron’s best and I’ll fight you all on that, took in $415,000. Every time Cameron wants to make another Avatar movie, he should just let us all see Titanic again. It’s the safest option.

This week’s new films are much quieter affairs, from the limited release of I, Tonya to some old guy buddy comedy with Tommy Lee Jones and Morgan Freeman called Just Getting Started. It’s like they’re all too afraid to get into competition with some major release or something. Eh, probably nothing.

You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.

What films did you watch this weekend? On a scale of one to Jar Jar, how do you feel about Olaf? Do you think Justice League can overtake Thor: Ragnarok in the box office stakes? Do you think people who have absolutely no idea who Tommy Wiseau is will care about The Disaster Artist? Who’s the sexiest fish man in your life? Who’s the hottest Michael in The Shape of Water: Shannon or Stuhlbarg? Answers in the comments.

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Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.