‘Doctor Strange’ repeats as ‘Arrival,’ ‘Almost Christmas’ enjoy solid openings

ScreenerBlog

As expected, holdovers Doctor Strange and Trolls hung around in the top two spots for the second weekend running, earning $43 million (a 49.4% drop) and $35 million (a 24.8% drop), respectively. So far, Doctor Strange has brought in $153 million domestically and $339.6 million internationally, rocketing its worldwide cume past those of Thor, Captain America and The Incredible Hulk and within spitting distance of Ant-Man. Trolls, meanwhile, has earned $94 million domestic and $128 million international against a budget of $125 million. 

This weekend’s highest-grossing new release was Paramount’s Arrival, which made $24 million on 2,317 screens. That’s less than the opening cumes for fellow cerebral sci-fi dramas Interstellar ($47.5 million) and Gravity ($55.7 million), but with a budget of only $47 million, Arrival cost much less to make. 

Coming in fourth was new release Almost Christmas, which earned $15.5 million against a $17 million budget. It’s not an overwhelmingly wonderful take, but it’s solid. There’s the potential it will hold well over the coming weeks, too. A strong CinemaScore (A- for Almost Christmas) and an upcoming holiday served well for last month’s Boo! A Madea Halloween, which suffered from similarly negative reviews yet dropped a mere 39.6% in its second week. The comparison’s not perfect, as Boo! opened higher than Almost Christmas on a slightly smaller number of screens. It clearly has more traction than its Christmas-themed brethren. Still, you can expect Almost Christmas to take in a very respectable amount before it holly jollies out of theatres.

Closing out the top five is holdover Hacksaw Ridge (weekend gross $10.7 million, total gross $32.2 million), followed by The Accountant (weekend gross $4.5 million, total gross $77.7 million) in its fifth week. That leaves final new release Shut In languishing in spot seven with a gross of $3.7 million on 2,058, for a dismal per-theatre average of $1,798. The weekend’s PTA champ, no surprise, is Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which opened to $120,000 on two screens. Next week it expands to over 1,000 theatres, where negative critical buzz should hamper its growth.

Also making limited bows were Elle ($56,012), The Love Witch ($23,000), Disturbing the Peace ($9,798) and National Bird ($4,000). Meanwhile, A24's Moonlight continued its national expansion, adding 93 theatres and seeing its weekend haul jump to $1.3 million ($4.7 million total).