Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

November 4, 2018

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Well, the song said they would. Consider us rocked by Bohemian Rhapsody's opening weekend.

The first weekend of November sees three new releases occupy the top three spots at the box office for the first time since February.

Bohemian Rhapsody is, quite easily, the top film of the weekend, opening to an outstanding $50 million. The Freddie Mercury biopic was hailed early on as a potential awards contender, but when the reviews came in (it recovered from some early poor reviews to land at 60% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes) the narrative settled more into "weak biopic, but fun crowdpleaser," focusing on the enjoyment of Rami Malek's transformation into Mercury and the classic Queen songs, while criticizing the somewhat sanitized story of Mercury's life and later years.

Most projections had Bohemian Rhapsody earning in the upper $30 million to lower $40 million range so Fox should be ecstatic with this opening weekend, especially on a reported budget of $50-55 million. It does not have the awards pedigree of A Star Is Born, so it's not going to have quite the same legs, but Bohemian Rhapsody is going to have a very solid month of box office, earning well over $100 million by the time it's done.

After the good news of Bohemian Rhapsody's performance, we have a disappointment in second place, as Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms starts off the Christmas movie season with a thud, earning just $20 million.

Attempting to expand the Christmas song (itself based on a short story adapted into a ballet) into a full length feature, the result was a terrible mess of a film; it's visually impressive but largely substance-free, earning miserable reviews from critics (just 34% Fresh) which was certainly a contributing factor to the poor performance. Disney's had a remarkable year, but this is a big time flop for them, especially with a reported budget of $132 million. Overseas earnings will stem the bleeding somewhat, but it will be their first film to not earn $100 million at the box office in 2018. (Okay, Christopher Robin only got to $99 million, but that's close enough.) With this poor a start, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms might not even make it to Thanksgiving as a box office factor.




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Third place goes to Tyler Perry's Nobody's Fool by Tyler Perry, coming in with $14 million. Perry's second film this year, this time he went with a more straightforward comedic film, anchored by Tiffany Haddish, costar of the year's biggest comedy (Night School departs the top ten this weekend with $74.4 million). Unfortunately, the opening is under Acrimony, a film from March that you totally forgot existed until now. That one started with $17.1 million and finished with $43.5 million. Perry's films tend to not have the greatest of legs, so the news doesn't bode well for Nobody's Fool (reviews of which threw under The Nutcracker, rating just 25% Fresh), as it's headed to around $35 million total. That being said, Perry's films are usually economical, with Nobody's Fool costing just $19 million, but it's going to end up one of his lowest earning films. Next year, Perry will retire the Madea character with A Madea Family Funeral, so I look for strong earnings from that one.

A Star Is Born gets bumped out of second place after four consecutive weekends but still continues to hold amazingly well, despite some more direct competition in the form of Bohemian Rhapsody. It adds $11.1 million in its fifth weekend (down just 21% from last weekend) and has $165.6 million to date. It's creeping closer to the $200 million mark and will very likely get there, especially with repeated holds like this. Still the frontrunner for most major Oscar categories (largely because most of the other contenders haven't been released yet), the Bradley Cooper film is one of the biggest hits of the fall.

Halloween suffers the typical post uh, Halloween hangover, dropping 65% in its third weekend to $11 million and giving it a still outstanding $150.4 million to date. The swift collapse was expected, but it had such an outstanding opening it doesn't really matter. Universal should still be extremely giddy over this performance.

Venom adds $7.7 million (down 26%) and has $198.6 million in five weekends. It's crossing $200 million midweek, and will be the ninth film to do that this year. It's a big win for Sony in a year that didn't have many of them, and gives them a second superhero tent pole after Spider-Man.

Smallfoot continues to hang in there, with $3.8 million and $77.4 million in six weekends. It's about to have its doors (and domestic total) blown off by The Grinch next weekend and Ralph Breaks the Internet in two more, but this is a respectable figure for Smallfoot.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween also takes a predictable dip this weekend, dropping 49% to $3.7 million and $43.8 million after four weekends. A disappointing performance for the sequel, considering the $80 million earned by the first Goosebumps in 2015.

Hunter Killer manages a second weekend in the top ten with $3.5 million and $12.9 million in two weekends. The non-descript submarine thriller starring the non-descript Gerard Butler is still deep underwater relative to its $40 million budget.

The Hate U Give wraps up the top ten this weekend with $3.4 million and $23.4 million after five weekends in theaters, three of them in wide release. That matches its production budget, so Fox should be fairly happy. It's held fairly well since wide release, which means word of mouth among the target audience is strong. It departs the top ten from here, but as an Important Film, I think it can find an audience on video.

Your top 12 films this weekend tallied $132.3 million, no match for last year's $167.4 million when Thor: Ragnarok was responsible for $122.7 million of that.

Next weekend the marquee release is an updated animated version of The Grinch, as well as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sequel/reboot The Girls in the Spider's Web and World War II thriller (with a twist?) Overlord.


Top Ten for Weekend of November 2-4, 2018
Rank
Film
Distributor
Estimated
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Bohemian Rhapsody 20th Century Fox 50.0 New 50.0
2 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Walt Disney 20.0 New 20.0
3 Nobody's Fool Paramount 14.0 New 14.0
4 A Star Is Born Warner Bros. 11.1 -21% 165.6
5 Halloween Universal 11.0 -65% 150.4
6 Venom Sony Pictures 7.8 -26% 198.6
7 Smallfoot Warner Bros. 3.8 -20% 77.4
8 Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Sony Pictures 3.7 -49% 43.8
9 Hunter Killer Lionsgate 3.5 -47% 12.9
10 The Hate U Give 20th Century Fox 3.4 -33% 23.4
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

     


 
 

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