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


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).