Krampus Breathes Life into Post-Turkey Frame
By John Hamann
December 6, 2015
Krampus got started on Thursday, earning a measly $700,000, which made me wonder if this was going to get any attention during the weekend. On Friday, the horror release earned $6 million, finishing at $1 against Mockingjay Part 2. Typical for horror, Krampus wilted over the remainder of the weekend, but managed a decent weekend take of $16 million from 2,902 theaters. Considering the weekend it opened in and the subject matter, I think this has to be considered a large success and another feather in the cap of Universal. The studio of the year still has another release to come on December 18th, when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler appear in Sisters, counter-programming against Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Krampus cost only $15 million to make, and director Michael Dougherty used those funds well, attracting talent like Toni Collette and Adam Scott. Surprisingly, it received better reviews than most horror films, earning a 65% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes. It also managed a strong-for-horror B- Cinemascore (think of the C ratings for the last Paranormal Activity movie and Victor Frankenstein). This kind of success could make it a story in the lead-up to Christmas if it can hang on next weekend.
It was a close race between Krampus, Creed and The Good Dinosaur, as all three did more than $15 million at the box office. Creed is currently in that third spot, but positioning could change after actual box office numbers are released tomorrow. The latest film in the Rocky saga was coming off a brilliant opening frame where it earned $29.6 million over three days and $42 million over five. This weekend, Creed earned a somewhat stunning $15.54 million - stunning because it fell only 48% during a weekend where 60%+ drops can easily be the norm. Word-of-mouth is obviously strong for Creed, which is exactly what it needs this time of year . It should finish with an extremely strong multiplier, if it can survive the face-off against The Force Awakens. The $35 million Warner Bros. film has now earned $65.1 million, and $100 million should be in the bag. The question now is whether the A Cinemascore, great reviews, and potential Oscar push can propel it to $150 million.
Estimates are currently putting The Good Dinosaur in fourth. The Thanksgiving Pixar entry fell more than other Pixar releases did in the Thanksgiving follow-up. In its second frame, The Good Dinosaur took in $15.51 million, and fell 60%. It's been more than 15 years since the last Thanksgiving release for Pixar, as Toy Story 2 was the last in 1999. That film opened to $57.4 million and declined 52% to $27.8 million in its second weekend. A year earlier, A Bug's Life fell 48.5%.
The point is that these Pixar releases can see big drops in their second weekends and still survive. The Good Dinosaur is not going to be one of Disney's biggest grossers, but it still stands to earn $150 million at the domestic box office, if the Chipmunks movie opening against The Force Awakens crashes and burns (my fingers are crossed). I expect Dinosaur to have a very good frame next weekend, and then start to drop off. So far, The Good Dinosaur has earned $76 million, but must be making a few folks at Disney nervous, as it cost $200 million to produce. It has earned about $55 million overseas and is going to need a lot more.