Weekend Wrap-Up

Box Office Tries To 'Party' Prior To Rogue One

By John Hamann

December 11, 2016

Party pooper.

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The combined Thursday preview/Friday take for Christmas Party came in at an excellent $6.6 million, yards better than the $5 million earned by Sisters last year. It's also $600,000 better than what Krampus earned on opening day in 2015, and better than the $5.7 million opening day for Madea's Family Christmas. What Office Christmas Party is not, though, is a Hangover or Horrible Bosses type of release, as those films earned $16.7 million and $9.9 million respectively on opening day. This was a solid start, but it needed to be more than a one night wonder.

Over the weekend, Office Christmas Party managed to pull in a healthy, but unspectacular $17.5 million from 3,210 venues. That's a bit better than the $15 million Paramount and tracking were looking for, and given the point in the calendar we're in, this opening weekend should keep Office Christmas Party in the profit column. The comedy was made for $45 million, and considering that Sisters earned $85 million after opening to $13 million, this one should be in good shape. The difference between it and Sisters, though, is that we can likely expect a fairly extreme dropoff after Christmas. It earned the same Cinemascore as Sisters did, with both films coming in with a B. At this time of year, legs are less about the quality of a film and more about positioning on the calendar, and it seems like people will see just about anything over the silly season. A Madea Christmas opened to $16 million and finished with $52 million domestic. I expect a better result for this Paramount title.

Christmas movies live on long past their theatrical release dates. I was fascinated the other day when Variety ran a story about current Blu-Ray sales, which is a list usually populated by the most recent releases. Elf, Christmas Vacation, and The Polar Express finished in the top 12. While Office Christmas Party, with its 44% rotten rating at RottenTomatoes, is certainly not going to end up a holiday classic, sales will likely peak over the Christmas period for years to come. Office Christmas Party may severely drop off after the 25th, but it is never really going to disappear.


Third spot goes to the fourth frame of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, as it continues its strong run. This weekend, the Warner Bros. flick earned another $10.8 million and fell 41% compared to its $18.1 million finish last weekend. Fantastic Beasts will cross the domestic $200 million mark in the coming days, and it joins a massive overseas gross that currently sits at $481 million. If there was ever any question about how this would work given its $180 million budget, have been answered with a worldwide gross now well beyond $680 million.

Still hanging in with its fifth top five finish is Arrival, the sci-fi film with Amy Adams. After earning $7.3 million last weekend, Arrival holds strongly again, earning $5.6 million and dropping only 23%. Arrival started with an opening frame of $24.1 million, and now has a domestic gross of $81.5 million. Overseas audiences have latched on as well, with this $45 million picture picking up another $48 million overseas so far.

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