Weekend Box Office Report: December 10 – December 12, 2021

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The weekend box office report is provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.

Weekend Estimates Update:

In a quiet before the storm weekend, Disney and 20th Century’s West Side Story debuted in first place with an estimated $10.50 million. The pricey Steven Spielberg directed musical starring Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler debuted on the low end of expectations, which had tended to range from $10 million to the mid-teen millions heading into the weekend. Despite very strong critical reviews, awards season buzz, and the built-in fanbases of both the musical and Spielberg, audiences just weren’t all that interested in West Side Story this weekend. Furthermore, West Side Story opening just below the $11.50 million start of In the Heights back in June feels especially lackluster given that West Side Story opened exclusively in theatres this weekend, while In the Heights opened day-and-date theatrically and via streaming on HBO Max. West Side Story grossed an estimated $1.0 million from IMAX screens this weekend, which represented 9.5 percent of the film’s overall weekend gross.

The audience breakdown for West Side Story skewed 57 percent female, 43 percent male, 25 percent under the age of 25 and a significant 75 percent over the age of 25. While older moviegoers didn’t show up in droves for West Side Story this weekend, the film’s lack of appeal with younger moviegoers looks to have been an even bigger issue this weekend. On a positive note, West Side Story appears to be going over very well with initial audiences, as the film received a strong A rating on CinemaScore. The hope is that with the film’s strong early word of mouth, strong critical reviews, awards season buzz and the holiday season, West Side Story will hold up very well in the weeks ahead. However, that may be easier said than done given the high number of new releases entering the marketplace over the next three weeks, especially Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home this coming Friday (December 17) and Warner’s The Matrix Resurrections and Universal’s Sing 2 the following Wednesday (December 22).

Internationally, West Side Story took in just $4.4 million from 37 markets. That places the film’s global start at $14.9 million. International debuts this weekend included $1.7 million in the United Kingdom, $1.1 million in France and $0.3 million in Germany. West Side Story does still have a number of major international markets left to open in, including Spain, Italy and Australia later this month.

After leading the box office the past two weekends, Disney’s Encanto was down one spot to finish in a close second with $9.43 million. Encanto declined just 28 percent from last weekend, as the film’s strong word of mouth now looks to be kicking in. Encanto likely also got a bit of a boost this weekend from some moviegoers who ultimately chose to see it instead of West Side Story. With a 19-day gross of $71.35 million, Encanto has now surpassed the $70.53 million total domestic gross of this year’s computer animated / live action hybrid Space Jam: A New Legacy, to become the highest grossing animated film of any type domestically since the re-opening of theatres. Encanto is playing exclusively in theatres until it also becomes available via streaming on Disney+ on Christmas Eve (December 24).

Internationally, Encanto grossed an estimated $13.6 million this weekend from 47 markets. That brings the film’s international total to $80.5 million and current global haul to $151.8 million. International totals by market for Encanto through Sunday include $9.0 million in France, $7.9 million in Colombia, $5.6 million in the United Kingdom, $5.5 million in Spain, $4.8 million in Russia, $4.7 million in Italy, $4.6 million in Japan, $4.3 million in South Korea, $4.0 million in Mexico and $2.5 million in Saudi Arabia.

Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife was down one spot from last weekend to place in third with an estimated $7.10 million. On the heels of last weekend’s sharp decline, Ghostbusters: Afterlife re-stabilized this weekend by declining a very solid 31.5 percent. Ghostbusters: Afterlife has grossed $112.00 million through 24 days, which currently ranks the film as the tenth highest grossing film domestically since re-opening. Internationally, Ghostbusters: Afterlife grossed an estimated $6.4 million this weekend from 53 markets. Through Sunday, respective totals for Ghostbusters: Afterlife stand at $52.7 million internationally and $164.7 million globally.

United Artists Releasing and MGM’s House of Gucci declined one spot and a respectable 42 percent to take fourth place with $4.06 million. The Ridley Scott directed crime drama starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver passed the $40 million domestic mark this weekend and has grossed $41.03 million through 19 days. Internationally, House of Gucci continued to impress this weekend with an estimated $10.1 million from 63 markets. That brings the film’s international total to $52.0 million and current global total to $93.0 million (which is very solid for a drama in the current theatrical environment). International totals for House of Gucci through Sunday include $9.8 million in the United Kingdom, $6.3 million in Russia, $4.4 million in France, $4.1 million in Germany, $2.9 million in Spain, $2.6 million in Mexico and $1.7 million in Ukraine. House of Gucci will be released in Italy this coming Thursday (December 16) and will open in Australia, South Korea and Japan in January.

Disney’s Eternals grossed an estimated $3.10 million to remain in fifth place. Eternals held up very nicely this weekend, as the film was down a slim 24 percent from last weekend. Eternals looks to have received a boost this weekend from moviegoers who wanted to catch the film before Spider-Man: No Way Home opens next weekend. The 38-day total for Eternals stands at $161.22 million. Recently it was announced that Eternals will become available on Disney+ in the United States on January 12. Eternals took in an estimated $3.6 million internationally this weekend from 47 markets, as the film continues to approach the $400 million global mark. Respective current totals for Eternals stand at $234.1 million internationally and $395.3 million globally.

As for some of this weekend’s other holdovers, Sony and Screen Gems’ Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City declined a solid 39 percent to take sixth with an estimated $1.65 million, Paramount’s Clifford the Big Red Dog declined just 30 percent to claim seventh with an estimated $1.33 million and Fathom Events and Angel Studios’ Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers was down a very sharp 70 percent to place in eighth with an estimated $1.29 million. Respective current total grosses stand at $47.71 million for Clifford the Big Red Dog through 33 days, at $15.85 million for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City through 19 days and at $13.44 million for Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers through twelve days (which is a record-breaking performance for an event screening from Fathom Events).

On the platform front, United Artists Releasing and MGM’s Licorice Pizza remained strong with an estimated $176,349 from 4 locations in New York City and Los Angeles. The critically acclaimed Paul Thomas Anderson directed film had a per-location average of $44,087 for the frame and was down only 27 percent from last weekend. The 17-day platform start for Licorice Pizza stands at a promising $1.11 million. Licorice Pizza is now scheduled to expand to moderate / semi-wide release on Christmas Day.

Read more at BoxOfficeReport.com

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