BOX OFFICE: The Grinch wins the domestic weekend; Venom dominates in China

The Weekend Box Office

Hello, dear reader.

I’ll be honest with you. After committing so much time and effort to compiling massive, essay-length rundowns of the weekend box office, I began to feel the pang of regret.

I enjoy the speculation, I do, but it’s a drag trying to keep up with the numbers. As the venerable, late Alex Mason once said, “I CAN’T GET THESE FUCKING NUMBERS OUT OF MY HEAD.”

Kudos if you get that reference (though it isn’t particularly obscure.)

I’ll keep this short and sweet, with some relevant info and commentary added to spice everything up. Be sure to check out the full box office breakdown over at Box Office Mojo.

Here’s your weekend top ten (Weekend; total domestic / international / global):

  1. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018) – $67.5m; $67.5m / $13.1m / $80.6m 
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody – $31.2m; $100.3m / $185.9m / $286.3m
  3. Overlord – $10.2m; $10.2m / $9.2m / $19.4m
  4. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – $10m; $35.7m / $61.9m / $97.6m
  5. A Star is Born (2018) – $8.1m; $178.1m / $145.8m / $323.9m
  6. The Girl in the Spider’s Web – $7.8m; $7.8m / $8m / $15.9m
  7. Nobody’s Fool – $6.6m; $24.3m / $265k / $24.6m
  8. Venom (2018) – $4.9m; $206.2m / $469.9m / $676.2m
  9. Halloween (2018) – $3.9m; $156.9m / $88.3m / $245.2m
  10. The Hate U Give – $2m; $26.6m / $2.1m / $28.8m

Overall weekend box office totals amounted to a hefty sum of $167.1m, a 14.6% jump from the weekend prior. This is across almost 40,000 theaters.

Newcomers in the top ten were Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018), Overlord, and The Girl in the Spider’s Web, which was enough to boost the weekend above the last. Grinch being the only Christmas movie currently on he docket should bode well going into the holiday season, but lackluster review scores could hamper that a tad. The J.J.Abrams produced nazi-zombie horror flick Overlord is performing just shy of industry expectations, no doubt a victim of the too-obvious pattern of zombie-fatigue felt by North American audiences. Meanwhile, despite Hollywood’s renewed faith in R-rated blockbuster franchises, The Girl in the Spider’s Web fell disappointingly short of expectations. I’ll speak for audiences here: We love Claire Foy, but we wanted Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig back to continue what David Fincher started back in 2011.

This has been a year of big, leggy hits, as A Star is Born, Venom, and Halloween continue to perform well in the top ten. Venom recently debuted to over $111m in China. The bad news (aside from Venom being a tepid and shoddily edited feature) is that the more Sony continues to perform well with its limited licensing of Marvel characters, the less likely those characters are to return under direct supervision of Marvel Studios and its currently lore-master / ringleader Kevin Fiege.

A Star is Born is still in the top five after its sixth week in release, enjoying regular drops of less than 30% per weekend. For as much as can be said of Bradley Cooper’s acting, it’s undeniable that the man has an eye for direction. His R-rated passion project, the fourth iteration of the classic Hollywood tale and his first time directing, has proven excessively profitable, all things considered. Please, Hollywood, more Lady Gaga.

Along those lines, it looks like Bohemian Rhapsody may join the ranks of this year’s critically-lukewarm, audience-approved blockbusters. Accused serial sexual harasser and director, Bryan Singer, can rest easy knowing that the world loves Queen more than it cares about the testimony of assault survivors. However, I bear no ill-will to Rami Malek and the crew which assembled the feature, as the actor’s portrayal of the late Freddie Mercury is likely to garner an Oscar nod. The film, though, has earned nearly six times its production budget at the box office. Think of it what you will.

This coming weekend sees the release of the next installment in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World film universe, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Are you excited? No? Me neither. Expect glossy CGI, a muted color-palette, and more audience pandering than the inevitable Universal Studios theme-park ride based on the film.

We also have Widows, a heist film centered on a bunch of bad-ass women following the deaths of their criminal husbands. Jury’s out as to whether or not it’ll be any good, but with a story treatment by the inimitable Gillian Flynn and Steve McQueen directing, as well as Viola Davis in the lead role, it’s definitely worth a passing glance.

Also releasing soon is the Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne lead adoption dramedy, Instant Family. I will warn you, reader, that suffering through Wahlberg’s pained and oftentimes laughable performances aren’t worth the price of admission. If you’re pining for a Wahlberg you can respect, it isn’t possible. BUT, if you wish to remember fondly the dramatic potential he’s committed himself to wasting, I would suggest watching Four Brothers, The Departed, The Fighter (yes, a David O. Russell film), or Boogie Nights. Just my suggestion.

And that’s all I care to talk about today, dear reader. Let me know which movies you’re excited to see in the comments below. Be sure to follow along on Facebook, Twitter, or by email using the widgets at the bottom of the page.

Until next time.