The weekend box office report is provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.
Weekend Estimates Update:
The domestic box office received a much needed boost over Christmas weekend from Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984. The highly anticipated Patty Jenkins directed superhero sequel starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Kristen Wiig debuted in first place this weekend with an estimated $16.70 million. That represented the largest three-day start of any film since domestic theatres re-opened back in August and also outpaced expectations (which had tended to be in the low-teens heading into the weekend). Prior to Wonder Woman 1984, The Croods: A New Age had been responsible for the largest opening weekend since the re-opening of theatres, with a three-day weekend take of $9.72 million. The three-day start of Wonder Woman 1984 also outpaced the $14.27 million five-day Thanksgiving holiday launch of The Croods: A New Age.
Making this weekend’s performance even more impressive is that Wonder Woman 1984 debuted day-and-date on HBO Max. According to Warner Bros. nearly half of all HBO Max retail subscribers viewed Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day alone. While Wonder Woman 1984 would have no doubt opened at least somewhat higher had the film not also been available on HBO Max, relatively speaking the film’s theatrical and streaming performances were able to co-exist with one another given the current environment. In light of this weekend’s domestic debut, today Warner Bros. has also announced that it is fast-tracking a third Wonder Woman film, which will re-unite director / writer Jenkins and star Gadot.
Wonder Woman 1984 debuted in 2,151 locations this weekend, which gave the film a strong per-location average of $7,764. The film received a substantial boost this weekend from over 10,000 private theatrical screening rentals for small groups. Wonder Woman 1984 also grossed an estimated $1.2 million from 180 domestic IMAX screens, which represented 7.2 percent of this weekend’s overall gross. Another factor making the performance of Wonder Woman 1984 even more impressive this weekend is that well over half of all domestic theatres are currently closed, including theatres in major metropolitan markets such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and the California Bay Area, as well as nearly all theatres in Canada. The top ten markets for Wonder Woman 1984 this weekend included Dallas, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Houston, New York Metro (outside of New York City), Orlando, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Miami and Austin.
Going forward, Wonder Woman 1984 will have to deal with word of mouth that doesn’t appear to be on the same level of its predecessor. While Wonder Woman 1984 received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore, that was down significantly from the A CinemaScore rating received by Wonder Woman back in 2017. Critical reviews for Wonder Woman 1984, which have tended to be positive, also aren’t as strong as critical reviews were for Wonder Woman. At the same time, Wonder Woman 1984 should benefit from January’s release calendar being nearly empty at the moment and could still get a boost down the line if some currently closed theatres re-open while Wonder Woman 1984 is still in theatres.
Internationally, Wonder Woman 1984 took in an estimated $19.4 million this weekend from 41 markets. That brings the film’s estimated international total to $68.3 million and estimated global total to $85.0 million. This weekend’s international performance included debuts of $4.5 million in Australia and $2.5 million in South Korea. On a down note, Wonder Woman 1984 has slowed especially quickly in China; on the heels of last weekend’s $18.7 million debut, the film only grossed $5.2 million over the past seven days for a total of $23.9 million in China. Additional international totals for Wonder Woman 1984 through Sunday include $6.5 million in Taiwan, $3.1 million in Japan, $2.9 million in Singapore, $2.9 million in Thailand, $2.8 million in Brazil, $2.8 million in Mexico, $2.3 million in Spain, $2.0 million in the United Arab Emirates and $1.8 million in Saudi Arabia.
The weekend’s other high-profile new release, Universal’s News of the World, debuted in a distant second place with an estimated $2.40 million. The Paul Greengrass directed western starring Tom Hanks and Helena Zengel had been expected to open a bit higher this weekend, but there is little doubt that the strong performance of Wonder Woman 1984 helped to limit the potential of News of the World (and the rest of the marketplace in general) this weekend. News of the World played in 1,900 locations this weekend, which gave the film a so-so per-location average of $1,263 for the frame. Prior to the film’s release, it was already extremely likely that News of the World would be the least front-loaded of this weekend’s four major new releases and going forward holding power for News of the World has the potential to be even stronger due in part to this weekend’s start being deflated (especially if the film is a major awards season player after all). Critical reviews for News of the World have been strong and the film looks to be going over pretty well with moviegoers (but perhaps not quite as well as it has with critics) after receiving a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore. International rights for News of the World belong to Netflix.
Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age was down one spot from last weekend to claim third place this weekend with an estimated $1.73 million. Thanks in part to the holiday frame and no new animated films opening this weekend, The Croods: A New Age was down only 17 percent from last weekend. This weekend saw The Croods: A New Age surpass the $30 million domestic mark, as the film’s estimated 33-day total stands at $30.35 million through the end of Sunday. That gives The Croods: A New Age a current total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.12 to 1. The Croods: A New Age should continue to hold up nicely going forward, especially with no new family films currently scheduled to open in January. Internationally, The Croods: A New Age picked back up this weekend with an estimated $9.2 million from 16 markets. This weekend’s international performance was driven by debuts of $3.01 million in Russia, $2.68 million in Australia, $1.38 million in Spain and $0.457 million in New Zealand. The Croods: A New Age also grossed $1.05 million in China this weekend, where the film has grossed $51.4 million to date. Respective current international and global totals for The Croods: A New Age stand at $67.9 million internationally and $98.3 million globally.
After debuting in first place last weekend, Sony’s Monster Hunter fell three spots to land in fourth this weekend with an estimated $1.13 million. Monster Hunter declined 49 percent from last weekend, which is an especially sharp decline when Christmas Day falls on a Friday. In addition to being naturally front-loaded, Monster Hunter took a clear hit from the arrival of Wonder Woman 1984 (which Monster Hunter also lost IMAX screens to this weekend). The ten-day haul for Monster Hunter stands at a modest $4.22 million. Monster Hunter will hope to stabilize going forward with the debut of Wonder Woman 1984 now behind us. Monster Hunter was previously scheduled to open on December 30, before being moved up to open on Christmas Day and ultimately being moved up fairly last minute to December 18.
Focus’ Promising Young Woman rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated start of $0.680 million. Despite having the strongest critical reviews of this weekend’s four major new releases, the Emerald Fennell directed thriller starring Carey Mulligan failed to make an impact at the box office this weekend. In addition to having to deal with competition from both Wonder Woman 1984 and News of the World, Promising Young Woman was always going to have an uphill battle this weekend due in part to the mentioned closings of theatres in many major metropolitan markets (areas where a critical favorite like Promising Young Woman would typically perform much stronger). Promising Young Woman debuted in 1,310 locations this weekend, which gave the film a per-location average of $519. Like both News of the World and Wonder Woman 1984, Promising Young Woman also received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.
Lionsgate’s Fatale followed closely behind in sixth place with an estimated $0.660 million. Fatale declined three spots and a reasonable 28 percent from last weekend’s debut. The ten-day start for Fatale stands at $1.96 million, which is in line with the low pre-release expectations for the film. Fatale will arrive on PVOD on January 8, 2021.
Meanwhile, Roadside’s Pinocchio opened in seventh place with an estimated $0.275 million. Pinocchio had originally been scheduled to receive a wide release this weekend, but the film ultimately opened in just 764 locations, which gave Pinocchio a per-location average of $359 for the frame. This latest adaptation of Pinocchio (which was released in Italy in December of 2019) was directed by Matteo Garrone and stars Roberto Benigni as Geppetto (Benigni previously played Pinocchio in the 2002 version of Pinocchio – which Benigni also directed). Unlike 2002’s Pinocchio, this version of Pinocchio has gone over quite well with critics, but as was the case with Promising Young Woman this weekend, strong critical reviews didn’t help Pinocchio at the box office either.