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Weekend Box Office: Thor Thunders to a Mighty Opening, Bad Moms Do Good

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By Chris Kavan - 11/05/17 at 06:58 PM CT

Another Marvel film, another monster opening. The MCU had no problem extending its winning streak as Thor: Ragnarok opened easily in first place. Meanwhile, Bad Moms Christmas managed to dodge shaky reviews and opened about on par with the original film in a fine bit of counter-programming. LBJ crashed and burned in barely wide release while Lady Bird set a record in limited release. All told, while it was a great weekend, it wasn't quite as great as last year, as the top 12 films brought in $166 million, but down from the $183 million weekend from 2016. Still, after a ho-hum October, it was a welcome return to form for Hollywood.


The MCU just keeps chugging right along, and Thor thundered to a $121 million opening. That's the seventh-best opening for an MCU film, topping the $117 million that Spider-Man: Homecoming brought in earlier this year. It's also the fourth-highest release of 2017 (so far). Strong reviews held up as audiences gave the film an "A" Cinemascore - with 56% coming in male and 63% over the age of 25. It's good new all around - Ragnarok opened 41% above both Thor: The Dark World and Doctor Strange (both November releases) and, if it follows the typical track of an MCU film, Ragnarok will wind up with about $330 million, though we'll have to see if the impending release of Justice League will put a slight damper on that total. If it makes it to $300 million, it will be the third MCU film of this year to top that mark. Thor also broke a few records - overseas, as its $56.2 million China debut, along with its $5.2 million debut in India are both records for a November release. Globally, the film stands at $427 million, putting it ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Stranger and well ahead of Dark World through the same period. The 17th film in the MCU means the franchise has now earned over $13 billion worldwide and $5 billion domestic and, as these results prove, no fatigue is setting in at all.


With Thor dominating, the Bad Moms sequel was poised as a nice counter-point to those less inclined for superheroes. It also opened on Wednesday to get a bit of a jump on Thor as well as hopefully help spread the word. Things seemed to work out just fine, as Bad Moms Christmas had a $17 million weekend for a $21.55 million total. Women made up 82% of the audience, with 87% coming in over the age of 25. The film scored a "B" Cinemascore, below the "A" of the first film but, given the overall harsh reviews, that isn't too bad of a result. It opened a bit below the $23.8 million of the original film. Still, the R-rated film looks to play well in the coming holiday season, to an otherwise overlooked audience, and while it's bound to fall short of the original, it should have no problem making back its $28 million budget.


After a decent Halloween showing, it was no surprise Jigsaw had a significant decline, dipping nearly 60%. Still, as big as that drop is, it was actually the best hold for a Saw film since the 56% drop for Saw III back in 2006. The film earned $6.7 million for a new total of $28.8 million. While it's still going to wind up on the low end for a Saw film, it should wind up around the $40 million mark, which is just find for a films that only cost $10 million. Even a little push overseas will easily place this in the black and might lead to another trip down the Saw franchise lane.


Another Halloween themed film had a slightly better hold as Tyler Perry's scary sequel dipped 53.7% in its third weekend, bringing in another $4.65 million for a new total of $43 million. That's right along with a typical Perry film as Boo 2 should have no problem topping the $50 million mark - and if it can hit at least $54 million, it would put it right in the middle of the Madea series of films. Perry's brand is still going strong and I doubt Madea is going to go anywhere, either.


The apocalyptic Geostorm dipped 48.6% with a $3.03 million weekend for a new total of just $28.77 million. It is doing much better overseas, where it has earned $153.6 million thus far. But a $182 million total on a $120 million budget may not be enough to salvage this rather disastrous disaster film. Even if it gets to $200 million, that will probably not be enough to offset its marketing costs. Chalk this one up as a loss and maybe audiences are over the whole disaster porn thing for awhile.

Outside the top five: LBJ sneaked in under my radar as a wide release, just barely, in 659 theaters. Luckily, I didn't miss much as LBJ also flew under everyone's radar, with a terrible $1.138 million opening (14th place) and equally dismal $1,727 per-theater average. This one is likely to last a week at best.

On the flip side, the limited release of Lady Bird scored the best per-theater average of the year with $375,612 out of four theaters for a red-hot $93,903 per-theater average. Director Greta Gerwig now also holds the record for best per-theater average for a solo female director. The film is going to expand, with a full nationwide release currently planned for the Thanksgiving holiday frame.

In milestone news, that other horror film Happy Death Day, earned $2.81 million (6th place) for a new $52.9 million total, breaking that $50 million mark in the process. Oh, and that other, other horror film, It still brought in just over $1 million (15th place) and just managed to cross the $325 million mark with $325.8 million, moving up to 53rd place on the all-time earner list, topping Suicide Squad in the process.

Next week brings us the comedy Daddy's Home 2 along with the murder mystery reboot of Murder on the Orient Express.


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