‘Coco’ is box office champ again, but ‘Shape of Water’ goes big in small debut

The Shape of Water review
Without any major wide releases hitting theaters, the top five films at the box office remained the same as last week, and the animated feature Coco remained on top of the box office once again.

Disney and Pixar’s film about a young boy whose love of music sends him on an epic adventure through the land of the dead easily won the weekend, and dropped a mere 48 percent from last week’s premiere — suggesting that this could be the beginning of a strong run for the critically praised film. The film has already earned nearly $280 million worldwide, and is currently on a pace to beat last year’s Moana, which premiered on the same weekend and went on to earn $248.7 million in U.S. theaters and $643.3 million worldwide.

The rest of the weekend’s top 10 films were all returning movies. Among those films, Justice League continued to underperform and seems destined to finish its run in the bottom half of Warner Bros. Pictures’ superhero cinematic universe, while Thor: Ragnarok continued its impressive run. The latter film will probably pass Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to become the sixth highest-grossing film worldwide in Marvel Studios’ cinematic universe in the next few weeks.

# Title  Weekend    U.S. Total   Worldwide Total 
1. Coco $26.1M $108.6M $279.9M
2. Justice League $16.5M $197.3M $567.4M
3. Wonder $12.5M $88M $100.2M
4. Thor: Ragnarok  $9.6M $291.4M $816.4M
5. Daddy’s Home 2   $7.5M $82.8M $116.8M
6. Murder on the Orient Express  $6.7M $84.7M $210.9M
7. Lady Bird $4.5M $17M $17M
8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri  $4.5M $13.6M $13.6M
9. The Star $4M $27.2M $29M
10. A Bad Moms Christmas $3.4M $64.8M $97.8M

Outside of the top 10 films, a pair of limited-release movies also generated some buzz over the weekend.

James Franco’s The Disaster Artist premiered in just 19 theaters, and the positive buzz that had developed around the film translated into a $1.2 million debut from those theaters, for an average of $64,254 per theater. That’s not too shabby for a movie about the making of one of the worst movies ever made.

Meanwhile, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water had an even more limited release, premiering in just two theaters over the weekend. Those two theaters brought in a crowd, though, and the merman romance film netted $166,800 from those two theaters for a per-theater average of $83,400. That gave the film the biggest per-theater numbers of any film this weekend to go along with all of the positive reviews it received. This could mean good things for the film when it expands into more theaters.

This upcoming week is another slow one for Hollywood as the entire industry seems to be waiting for the debut of Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi on December 15. Margot Robbie’s Tonya Harding biopic I, Tonya kicks off its run in limited release with some Academy Award buzz already surrounding Robbie’s performance, and the comedy Just Getting Started also arrives in theaters with little to no fanfare.

At this point, it’s just the calm before the Last Jedi storm in the movie world.

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