This may come as a shock, but Disney has a hit movie in theaters…
While long expected to deliver a strong return the latest Disney animated release was also a much-needed infusion in theaters. For weeks now exhibitors have been struggling as new releases have been foundering, relying instead on mostly stronger performances from holdover hits. Even Disney itself has not been impervious to this, as the last release from the House of Mouse — ‘’Maleficent’’ was an underperformer.
This November has been down over 25% from last year, so it is with relief the weekend is marked as the unofficial start of the holiday push for Hollywood. Each weekend until New Years now should be delivering blockbuster fare or awards season contenders — and frequently we will see both. Everyone around Burbank is cautiously giddy for about the next month.
1. Frozen 2 – $127 Million
The only question this weekend was, ‘’How big of a hit will be??’’ Well, the frigid sisters set a slew of records. This total obliterates the November record for animated films and stands as the 5th best open this month all time — placing it in ‘’Twilight’’ territory. It also set the biggest global open ever for an animated title, with over $350 million earned. Disney as a studio has now grossed over $3 billion for the year, the only studio to ever do so, and it is the third time it has accomplished that. Expectations are it will set the all-time annual record, with a new ‘’Star Wars’’ opening at Christmas. (If you were to include the recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox, the studio pulls in over $4 billion.) This total comes close to doubling the three day total of the opening of the first film – $67 million. Stores are flooded with Elsa and Anna products for the holiday, so cash registers will let it flow throughout the holidays.
2. FORD VS. FERRARI – $15.75m
A good hold of -50% is made better when it is coming off of a strong debut and facing massive competition. And, despite the attempt to paint the film as a toxically masculine affair, audiences have shown a vast preference for it over the woke alternatives being foisted on them.
3. A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD – $13.5M
This is a strong return for a smaller picture, based on the life of Fred ‘’Mr. Rodgers’’, portrayed by Tom Hanks. It clearly suffered against the audience-sucking ‘’Frozen’’, but the studio was kind of stuck. The film has received great reviews and audience scores and would have performed much better earlier in the month. The problem; Sony had ‘’Charlie’s Angels released 2 weeks ago, and had expected much better from that feminine lecture bomb. As it is, this one will benefit from a Thanksgiving frame and solid word of mouth.
4. 21 BRIDGES – $9.3m
‘’Black Panther’’ star Chadwick Boseman takes a formulaic cop film into the holiday as a hoped-for counter-program effort. Not much more was expected of this one, and it is intended to net whatever dollars it can find in an inflated market.
5. MIDWAY – $4.7m
A rather pedestrian effort all around, considering the money needed to make it. It is dropping 600 screens while taking in only $43 million so far and has done even less overseas.
6. PLAYING WITH FIRE – $4.6m
The John Cena-led family comedy is doing decent enough behind a busy slate, and it has dropped few screens than ‘’Midway’’, which opened the same weekend, a possible sign it has a bit more strength down the road.
7. THE GOOD LIAR – $3.37m
A bid to get some awards notice is what Warners has in mind for this small British drama. If Helen Mirren or Ian McClellan get some nominations there is hope this legs out to a longer run.
8. CHARLIE’S ANGELS – $3.17m
From bad to dismal, as last week’s bomb has dropped -62%. A sign of how much audiences are avoiding this one is seen by it earning less than ‘’Good Liar’’, which also opened last week but is playing on 1,000 fewer screens. Look for this flop to lose over that many screens next weekend.
9. LAST CHRISTMAS – $3.0m
Starting to fade after a respectable run, making close to $30 million. I guess audiences finally realized The Hallmark Channel is playing these movies for free for the next month.
10. JOKER – $2.8m
Its domestic run is now over $325 million, with over $1 billion globally earned. Warners finally has something to laugh about.