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Weekend Wrap-Up: Justice is Leagues ahead of Competition, but Misses Expectations with $93.84 million

November 21st, 2017

Justice League

Justice League easily won the race for first place on the weekend box office chart. However, it only managed $93.84 million, which is substantially lower than it was expected to open with. In fact, it’s the first film in the DCEU to not open with more than $100 million. (To be fair, it is doing better internationally.) Wonder was a surprising hit in second place and it helped the box office rise 32% from last weekend to $199 million. More importantly, this weekend was 26% higher than the same weekend last year. 2017 ended its most recent slump, but it is still 4.5% or $430 million behind last year’s pace at $9.21 billion to $9.65 billion.

Justice League opened with $93.84 million during its opening weekend. This is about $20 million lower than our weekend prediction, which was already about $15 million lower than our monthly preview. Furthermore, it makes this film the first film in the DCEU to open with less than $100 million. On the other hand, despite weak 40% positive reviews and a mere B plus from CinemaScore, its legs should be rather good. Not only is it Thanksgiving weekend this week, but there are no truly wide releases scheduled for the next two weeks. Back to the original hand, the film reportedly cost $300 million to make and $200 million to advertise, so it will need close to $1 billion worldwide to break even early in its home market run. It will need at least $750 million worldwide to have any real shot at break even in the long run. Its international numbers will determine if earning a profit is plausible. More on that tomorrow with the International Top Five.

Wonder earned second place with $27.55 million, which was over $10 million greater than our prediction. Its reviews are 86% positive and it earned a stellar A plus from CinemaScore, both of which are good omens for its legs. Furthermore, it is a family film and those films tend to have good legs. Finally, this coming weekend is Thanksgiving. If it has a strong hold this weekend, it could remain in wide release till the beginning of 2018 and might even hit $100 million domestically. Since it only cost $20 million to make, $100 million will be more than enough to break even on its domestic numbers alone.

Thor: Ragnarok fell faster than expected, down 62% to $21.67 million over the weekend for a total of $247.27 million after three weeks of release. This puts $300 million domestically in jeopardy, unless it really holds well over Thanksgiving weekend. If it doesn’t, then it will start losing theaters before The Last Jedi debuts mid-December.

Daddy’s Home 2 landed in fourth place with $14.44 million over the weekend and $50.21 million after two weeks of release.

Murder on the Orient Express was right behind with $13.81 million over the weekend, but actually has more in total than Daddy’s Home 2 at $51.74 million. Furthermore, the film cost less to make at $55 million to $70 million, so it will be more profitable in the end, so much so that the studio has already announced a sequel is in the works.

The Star missed the top five with $9.81 million. It is a family film that likely didn’t cost a lot to make and the combination of its reviews, A rating from CinemaScore, and family friendly nature should help it remain at least semi-wide till Christmas. It isn’t going to become a midlevel hit, but it should break even sometime on the home market.

There were two limited releases in the top ten. Lady Bird earned 8th place with $2.53 million for a three-week total of $4.70 million. Its theater average is still above $10,000, so it has a lot of room to grow. That said, unless it picks up a lot of Awards Season nominations, it likely won’t expand truly wide. More on that later today. Finally, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri rose to ninth place with $1.10 million over the weekend for a two-week total of $1.54 million. It too will expand and it too got off to a good start during Awards Season.

- Weekend Box Office Chart

- Justice League Comparisons
- Wonder Comparisons
- The Star Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, The Star, Justice League, Wonder, Thor: Ragnarok, Murder on the Orient Express, Daddy’s Home 2, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lady Bird, DC Extended Universe