November 2017 Box Office Recap

By Steven Slater

December 6, 2017


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6) Daddy’s Home 2

Opening Weekend: $29.7 M
Monthly Box Office: $75.3 M

These poor kids, who every two years have to deal with angry man-babies competing for attention, when they just want a good father. I am sure the message by the end of these films is all warm and fuzzy. Actually, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg have become a sort of new Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, with a trio of films under their belt that have all been decent hits. Could it be true that Mark Walhberg is a bigger comedy star now with these films and two Teds under his belt? The bad news is that this sequel opened and is performing at about two-thirds the original, and will likely wind up just short of $100 million, so perhaps daddy’s home for good now.

7) A Bad Moms Christmas

Opening Weekend: $16.8 M
Monthly Box Office: $61.4 M

It seems Bad Moms is the new Madea franchise, although Mila Kunis has not performed in drag yet. Bad Moms is following the Daddy’s Home model to a T, opening at around two-thirds the original, and will finish close to $70 million by the time it ends its run. I would also add that having a film about moms written and directed by two men is not the best look at this particular moment, so perhaps its for the best the the next film in this *sigh* franchise is Bad Dads. Maybe it will star Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.

8) The Star

Opening Weekend: $9.8 M
Monthly Box Office: $23.3 M

I may not be the target audience for this film, as it has completely flown under my radar. This animated tale about Christmas has never been higher than sixth on the charts, and yet has pulled in a decent amount of money. It also is one of those rare films where it made more money on its second Friday than its first (mostly due to the Thanksgiving holiday). I doubt this will lead to a bunch of animated Christian films, but there continues to be an audience looking for religious films. Given how large swaths of the country feel about Hollywood, these films are about the only connection huge chunks of the population have to the silver screen.


9) Jigsaw

Monthly Box Office: $17.1 M

Well, well, well, here come the horrorshow groodies at last. Now don’t think that because ninth place is where the first holdover from October is located that it means November was such a spectacular month. Rather, it is the supreme weakness of the tenth month that did it in. Jigsaw is the only film from a previous month to make it onto this list. Most of this money was earned in the week after Halloween, because how much sense does it make to see a scary movie long after that holiday has passed? Of course, Christmas movies now open November 1st, so this is splitting hairs. Jigsaw, unfortunately, sees a very diminished return compared to other Saw films, which tends to happen after a franchise languishes seven years. Jigsaw will only beat the sixth installment in terms of opening weekend and gross.

10) Lady Bird

Monthly Box Office: $12.5 M

November is when the Oscar hopefuls start percolating around multiplexes and independent movie houses, and so far Lady Bird appears to be rising to the top. Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut has received rave reviews and audiences have responded well. Each weekend it adds a few hundred screens and keeps its take in the low millions. Expect to see this film more than double its gross in December, and probably earn a handful of nominations once awards nominations start coming out. This will likely follow Saoirse Ronan’s previous film, Brooklyn, not only in box office, but perhaps in oscars as well. That film earned $38 million and received nominations for Picture, Actress and Screenplay. Sounds like a perfect fit for Lady Bird.

Just outside the top ten were some other holdovers and a few rising stars. Boo 2 from Madea earned just under $10 million this month, as did Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Geostorm, Blade Runner and Roman J. Israel, Esq. We also had some of the highest totals per theater, as the Oscar crowd starts hunting for a winner. Call Me by Your Name wins that race with over $100,000 per screen, followed by Lady Bird and Three Billboards before they platformed. Expect to hear those three names many times over the coming months. December already has a vacuum of new titles, so look for the titles on this list to perform well for a few weeks until Star Wars and Christmas movies blossom big time.

If November films were a golf game, I would give this month a par. It could have been a birdie if Justice League had performed better, but at least it is not the triple bogey that some months this year have been. One good sign from this month is the amount of money films that were not tentpole events made. For instance, the sixth highest grossing film of this month, Daddy’s Home 2, made about $75 million. This is the most money the sixth-highest film has made in any month this year. In a way, this November was closer to a summer month in terms of box office numbers, especially when the top is headlined by two comic book films and an animated film from a powerhouse studio. I suppose it is simply a sign of the times that Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman could not combine forces to come even close to Thor and the Hulk. Ragnarok, indeed.

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