Ralph wrecks Box Office records, Creed II sends Robin Hood to the canvas, The Favourite most certainly is, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Happy Turkey Day Weekend, everyone! Yes, we’ve just exited that period of the calendar year where we all take a break, sit down at the table, and give thanks to all the things we are grateful for at this particular moment in time, just like the Pilgrims did back in the 1600s when they were thankful for all the Natives they could kill and the smallpox that those select lucky few were able to avoid. Nowadays, it’s mainly an excuse to gorge on yet another giant banquet and annoy Sally Brown who has yet to finish her Halloween candy, but at least we get some movies out of it! …no, for once, I’m not talking about Mystery Science Theater 3000. I am instead referring to the Thanksgiving Weekend Box Office feast, as cinemas stuff themselves full of moviegoing treats and then, as is post-giant-meal tradition, fall into a food coma for the next fortnight. So, no more dilly-dallying! Let’s examine the winners and losers before I become side-tracked and start getting hung-up on this sudden debate about whether A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is racist wait hang on go ba-
The biggest of winners across the three-day weekend – because this is a WEEKEND Box Office Report and, last I checked, even with holidays the weekend refers to the end of the week, not over half of it – was, completely unsurprisingly, Disney. The studio has effectively marked its stall out permanently for the Thanksgiving opening weekend, owning as it does nine out of the ten spots on the All-Time Three-Day Opening chart for this holiday, and it’s one they’ve owned again thanks to the mega-success of Ralph Breaks the Internet. The Wreck-It Ralph sequel we’re weirdly not calling Wreck-It Ralph 2 or Ralph Wrecks the Internet for non-existent reasons that are confounding me nonetheless smoothly glided its way to the top spot of the weekend’s chart with $55.6 million, and whilst that (at press time) wasn’t quite enough to dethrone Moana for third place on the three-day opening records, the five-day start of $84.4 million absolutely was enough to best Moana on that chart! Ralph is now only second to Frozen, although it’s really #1 since Frozen ACTUALLY opened the weekend before Thanksgiving in Limited Release *insert played-out Walter Sobchak reference here*
But there was another! Making a strong challenge against the Disney monopoly was Creed II, or Rocky VIII, or Rocky IV II, or WHO CARES IT’S A NEW ROCKY/CREED MOVIE HOOK IT INTO MY VEINS! Across the three-day weekend, the latest in my low-key favourite movie franchise shockingly dethroned The Grinch from the runner-up slot with $35 million, up significantly from the $29 million the first Creed delivered across this same weekend back in 2015 and good enough to spoil Disney’s stranglehold on the Top 10 Thanksgiving Opening Weekends both three- and five-day (the latter being an astonishing $55 million)! Score another one for the underdog! Score one much less for the underdog missing a leg and suffering from rabies, however, as the absolutely bewildering-sounding new Robin Hood performed utterly dismally, managing to steal a mere $9 million across the three-day and $14 million across the five-day, a truly shocking result that I am certain only everybody saw coming. But, hey! At least Robin can take comfort in not being Jason Reitman’s The Front Runner, which attempted to go Wide and, like a third-party candidate in a national election, received a few pity charity votes and nothing more: $630,000 across the three-day and a truly dire $885,000 across the five-day. Let’s point and laugh at the bad movie some more! HA HA!
Awards Season doesn’t stop for the holidays, either, so we got our customary Big Name Release to chat shit about sight unseen because, as is also tradition, none of this stuff is making it over the pond until the new year and I hate this shite so very, very much. Somebody who has now seemingly made the jump to such a standing, since this is his first film to open in America long before it opens in the UK, is *checks notes* Yorgos Lanthimos? Wait, that can’t be right. That’d be like Martin McDonagh suddenly becoming an Awards Season front-runner despite making Martin McDonagh movies! Well, I guess the director of The Lobster and Dogtooth has gone Hollywood, but at least that’s leading to some financial success for the Greek oddball. The Favourite opened to a blazing $420,000 on four screens, smoking the opening weekends of both The Lobster ($190,000) and The Killing of a Sacred Deer ($115,000) by several multiples, and bluntly hijacking the year’s best per-screen averages with $105,000, the best of any opening film since La La Land. Hirokazu Kore-eda’s award-winning Shoplifters also did splendidly with an $88,000 opening on five screens, but I couldn’t make a bunch of lazy marijuana jokes with its total so it got the shaft in column inches.
This Full List is gonna wreck it! (Fix it, Owen!)
US Box Office Results: Friday 23rd November 2018 – Sunday 25th November 2018
1] Ralph Breaks the Internet
$55,672,000 / $84,472,000 / NEW
DAMMIT, I even wrote the name here down as Ralph Wrecks the Internet until I caught myself on the cross-check and fixed it (Felix)! Sort your shit out, Disney! COME ON!
2] Creed II
$35,293,000 / $55,806,000 / NEW
Because I am not a movie-watching and movie-writing-about machine, I have not had the time to be able to go through all of the Rocky movies and pen glowing tributes to their majesty in honour of this latest instalment. But you know who has? Newcomer to the site John W. Mills, and a new entry is going up every day as we zero in on the release of Creed II! So far he’s done Rocky, Rocky II, and Rocky III so go check them out!
3] The Grinch
$30,210,000 / $180,442,250
I feel I should clarify, the A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving racist “controversy” that I referenced up top is being based on bad faith arguments by The Outrage Machine (a partisan mechanism that this time is working for the Right) taking a very small rumbling by Black Twitter, some making (admitted) jokes and some not, and trying to blow it out of proportion in order to generate clicks and rile up folks because it is 2018 and I hate The Goddamn Culture Wars. That said, I would also love to hear some modern readings on Franklin and Race in Peanuts, because Schulz’s progressivism of the 60s can be seen as outdated and innocently insensitive today, should those broaching the subject come at it from a good place. No media is sacrosanct, after all!
Except for A Charlie Brown Christmas. That I will cut fools over.
4] Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
$29,650,000 / $117,117,238
Up to $440 million worldwide (at time of writing) for anybody thinking we might yet get out of this hell. Warner Bros.: masters at canny release scheduling, not so much at making non-shitty franchise-based blockbusters.
5] Bohemian Rhapsody
$13,855,000 / $152,014,253
Here’s some good news: Donald Glover and Hiro Murai appear to have made a film starring Glover and Rihanna, supposedly titled Guava Island! A trailer played to those who attended Glover’s curated Pharos Festival this weekend, so I imagine a proper unveiling will be along soon enough. For now, here’s an enterprising Twitter user’s mobile video of the thing and you best believe I want to see the finished product as soon as possible! Have you seen Atlanta?
6] Instant Family
$12,500,000 / $35,751,508
*fiddles with phone* …what? Didn’t you get the memo? It’s not out here until FEBRUARY! I’ve got nothing, the site’s got nothing… what do you want me to do?
7] Robin Hood
$9,125,000 / $14,220,000 / NEW
Dave Bond’s review should be live by now and the succinct tease he’s told me to relay to you, fine reader, is that *checks notes* “it’s bollocks.” Look forward to seeing that quote on the Blu-Ray case of your local Poundland five months from now!
$7,955,000 / $25,585,819
Motherfucker… WHAT HAVE I BEEN TELLING YOU PEOPLE FOR THE PAST MONTH, HUH?! During one of my peek-a-boo check-ins on Twitter, cos you can never truly quit that place even if you do hit “quit,” Ira Madison III has been dragging the marketing for ballsing this one up royally by positioning it as an Awards Film instead of a Crowdpleasing Heist Thriller, and you know you done fucked up when Ira Madison is publically on your ass. On the one hand, I sympathise with the marketers because every non-journalist audience I’ve been in for the film has audibly rustled in their seats over its supposed slowness (so pitching it as a pulse-pounding thrill-ride could risk another Drive situation), but also it is a fun-ass bomb-ass heist thriller with ALL the Movie Stars that plays to the bleachers! In the words of A History of Violence: “how do you fuck that up?!”
9] Green Book
$5,443,000 / $7,800,401
Speaking of which, this doing good-but-not-great business has had Box Office Mojo questioning whether Focus Features and Universal “went too wide too soon” and OH MY GOD BURN AWARDS SEASON TO THE GODDAMN GROUND ALREADY! All of it! Everything to do with it and especially release date and expansion nonsenses like this! BURN IT ALL DOWN!
10] A Star is Born
$3,005,000 / $191,005,173
Lady Gaga spent Thanksgiving playing Bayonetta which just makes way too much sense.
Dropped Out: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Overlord, The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story, Burn the Stage: The Movie (which stole tenth place once Actuals came in)