US Box Office Report: 03/12/21 – 05/12/21

How are you all doing?  Let’s just rap for a bit, shoot the shit, y’know?  Who needs Box Office News anyway?

Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).

Look, here’s the thing.  I have a contractual obligation to fill anywhere from 400 to 650 words a week ostensibly about how things went at the American Box Office over the previous weekend.  Sometimes that involves serious financial analysis; pulling out percentiles, statistics, and historical factoids like I’m David Croft filling for time before the inevitable Turn 1 chaos.  Sometimes that involves bad jokes I’ve worn into the ground in prior BORs and baseless snark about films I can’t have seen yet.  Sometimes that means barely on-topic rambles and plugs for other stuff here at Set the Tape when I’m fresh out of relevant material.  But we just about get there, don’t we?  We try!  Since, y’know, there’s usually something going on at the Box Office to pull this ship across the finish line without noticeable time-wasting.

This weekend, though?  I really do got nothing.  Post-Thanksgiving weekend is notoriously a comatose zone at the best of times, but this year there wasn’t even the customary no-budget faithless horror release to be dumped in Wide release and spike a brief bit of life into proceedings.  (Turns out that was last weekend.)  Aside from two brief incursions by God and Anime not worth talking about due to their being event releases, the Full List remained stagnant.  Aside from Paul Verhoeven’s weirdly half-committed lesbian nunsploitation Benedetta bombing with just $145,000 from 202 screens, there’s no action in the Moderate or Limited Release spheres, either.  Aside from the first look at the new Spider-Verse, there haven’t been much in the way of major pop culture stories in the last seven days.  And I’m long past empty on new material for basically all of these films.  I need the Box Office to meet me halfway with these things, y’know?

So, sod it.  Let’s just talk.  You and me.  How you been?  You look good!  Did you do something with your hair?  It looks cool!  I know, I know, I’m long overdue a haircut myself.  In the past couple of years, I’ve actually found myself rather liking it this long.  It’s not exactly feminine in the way I’d like it, granted, but I like being able to run my hands through it as a calming mechanism when things get stressful.  Admittedly, another two weeks and it’ll become too long for even myself, so I’m working on finding the time to book in for a little thinning out.  Just been busy but, like, mundanely busy, know what I mean?  Nothing properly exciting, but still just full enough of a schedule to mean that I’m yet to be able to really test out this PS5.  Yeah, I got a PS5.  That wasn’t meant as a humblebrag, I’m sorry.  But I did get it direct from Sony!  They’re doing this thing where they email select PSN members with unique links and set times that you have to sign in through your PSN ID in order to access, meant to deter the scalper market.  It’s surprisingly clean and organised and hassle-free!  Hopefully you get to satisfy the unknowable criteria and snag yourself one as well!  You deserve it after these last two years!

Don’t leave!  Did you not hear me?  Nothing happened this week, so we might as well keep chatting in the Full List.  I gotta fill these words somehow.

US Box Office Results: Friday 3rd December 2021 – Sunday 5th December 2021

1] Encanto

$12,739,000 / $57,959,641

Boy, that snowfall up north last week was bad, huh?  Obviously, not as bad as it’s inevitably going to be when we get to late January/early February, but I think the shock of it coming on thick so early was why it felt so bad.  Did you try driving in it?  I hope they bothered to grit your motorways, if so.  I had to head across the Humber Bridge on Wednesday and the entire motorways leading up to it hadn’t seen a lick of road salt.  Genuinely was rather dangerous, had a few heart-in-mouth moments with bigger vehicles and an inability to see shit from all the crap kicked up into my window.

2] Ghostbusters: Afterlife

$10,350,000 / $102,191,594

Speaking of dangerous driving, did you catch the Saudi Arabian GP at the weekend?  Fucking clown show, am I right?  Shitbox race on a shitbox track not fit for purpose and actively dangerous with little chances for clean overtaking.  Nobody came out of that looking good, least of all the FIA.  Hope we never go back there; it was an embarrassment.  Plus, y’know, complicity in sports-washing the various human rights violations against women, queer folk, and critics of the tyrannical leadership by Mohammad Bin Salman.

3] House of Gucci

$6,773,404 / $33,641,223

Anyways, I spent the vast majority of last week dog/housesitting (but mostly dogsitting) for my best friend Lucy whilst she and her husband were off galivanting on a well-deserved holiday.  I cannot tell you why said holiday was well-deserved, since that relates to NDA things told to me in confidence, but let me just say it was enough to make dropping any and all plans I had for that week at the very last minute to ensure she could go a no-brainer.  Plus, I got lots and lots of cuddle time with her aggressively needy pooch, which is better than any monetary payment.

4] Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers

$4,100,000 / $8,778,798 / NEW

Oh, shit.  My editor’s coming over here.  Two secs, I gotta look like I’m at least trying to stay on-topic…  HEY!  YOU KNOW WHAT’S JUST LIKE JESUS?  NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, I think.  CHARLIE BRIGDEN HAS REVIEWED THE FIRST-EVER UK BLU-RAY RELEASE OF THE ACCLAIMED SERIES!

5] Eternals

$3,939,000 / $156,528,707

…I think that did it for now.  Anyway, so as I was saying: I think we can all agree that the world would be a much better place if we abandoned monetary currency and instead switched to a system where everybody is guaranteed a basic liveable income and all other amenities/labours were paid for in the form of giving cute pups belly fusses.

6] Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City

$2,655,000 / $13,173,747

Yeah, I agree, that didn’t make any sense.  Being real with you for a moment, I’ve not been sleeping great so my brain’s a little out of whack from time to time.  Admittedly, I’ve not slept well for at least a decade, but what I mean is that I keep getting sub-7-hour sleeps and sometimes less without even factoring in the often-restlessness of said sleep.  This past week, it’s admittedly been due to sleeping in someone else’s bed with a pooch who has no concept of personal space and snores like an old man.  But it’s been going on for way longer than that and I don’t really know how to fix it at this point.  I’m fine, though, really.  Who among us isn’t sleeping poorly nowadays?

7] Dune: Part One

$1,810,000 / $104,572,547

Plus, whilst I didn’t get any major work done whilst at Lucy’s thanks to said aggressively needy doggo – at one point, he legitimately shoved the laptop off of my lap with his giant schnoz and plonked his whole head in its place as if to say “you’re done with that, we’re doing fuss time now” – I did at least get to work through my backlog of albums from 2021 I either was yet to try or needed to revisit.  I take my Listmas prep work for the music portions very seriously; it’s what I got in place of a real personality.  Found some real gems, too!  Have you heard that The Weather Station full-length from February?  Absolutely gorgeous record!  I get goosebumps during the bridge and climax of “Parking Lot” every single time!  So glad I made note to check that one out, you should too!

8] Clifford the Big Red Dog

$1,800,000 / $45,728,389

On the opposite end?  Lorde forgive me, but I just cannot get into Solar Power no matter how hard I try.  It just bores me.  After the title track, this thing falls off a cliff into an indistinguishable surface-level haze of nothing.  There’s still another six months for it to click with me, since I have tickets to her Leeds show in late-May (which she cannily released before any music from this era), but as a Lorde stan this just isn’t it.

9] King Richard

$1,205,000 / $13,402,551


10] Sword Art Online: Progressive – Aria of a Starless Night

$1,050,000 / NEW

…phew, that was close.  It seems we’re out of time, in any case.  This was nice!  Lovely to break from the Box Office grind every once in a while, and just fireside chat with you.  No presh, no strained gags or extended bits.  Just two friends sat listening to me ramble on disconnectedly about shit because this is still a one-way conversation system until Zuckerberg inevitably invents real-time article streaming or some other crap.  Take care of yourself, ok?  I worry about you!

Dropped out: No Time to Die, Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Callie Petch never believed in the robber.

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