Box office hits and misses: Krampus scares up a big opening weekend

The weekend after Thanksgiving is typically a slow one for Hollywood, and this year continued that trend with only one new release finding its way into the weekend’s top ten films, and relatively low numbers across the board.

As expected, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 retained its position atop the weekend’s box-office chart, but the conclusion of the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise didn’t finish too far ahead of Krampus, the only new film to break into the top ten this week.

Directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat), the holiday horror movie Krampus earned an impressive $16 million during its first weekend in theaters. It was a surprisingly good opening weekend for the film, which exceeded most pundits’ predictions for both ticket sales and reviews. The film, which follows a family tormented by a demonic creature during their annual Christmas gathering, has earned positive reviews from critics so far (to the tune of a 66-percent “Fresh” rating on review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com) and could benefit from the good buzz over the next week or so.

While the rest of the weekend’s highest-grossing movies were all holdovers from previous weeks, there were some notable changes in the box-office hierarchy.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 $18.6M $227.1M $523.9M
2. Krampus $16M $16M $19.3M
3. Creed $15.5M $65.1M $70M
4. The Good Dinosaur $15.5M $75.9M $131.3M
5. Spectre $5.4M $184.5M $792M
6. The Night Before $4.9M $32M $32M
7. The Peanuts Movie $3.5 $121.4M $134.7M
8. Spotlight $2.9M $16.6M $16.6M
9. Brooklyn $2.4M $11.2M $11.2M
10. The Secret In Their Eyes $1.9M $17.2M $17.2M

One of the most notable week-to-week shifts was the big drop experienced by Disney and Pixar’s animated feature The Good Dinosaur. The film’s weekend gross was around 60-percent below what it achieved in last week’s big debut, and ended up being one of the worst second-week performances of any Pixar film so far. Still, even the least successful Pixar films have been box-office winners when compared to other studio’s underperforming projects, so it will be interesting to see the big-picture take on The Good Dinosaur when it concludes its run.

Ridley Scott’s The Martian also fell out of the top ten after nine straight weeks of impressive earnings. The film, which now appears to be garnering some serious award consideration, earned another $1.6 million over the weekend — good for 11th place in the box-office chart.

The only other new release to make a big impact over the weekend was Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, the first theatrical release for Amazon Studios. The film earned $1.2 million from screenings in just 305 theaters, and its arrival on the big screen will be followed by a release on Amazon Instant Video in the near future.

At this point, everything arriving in theaters just seems like an opening act for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, but there are at least two notable films making their debut this upcoming weekend. Director Ron Howard’s Moby Dick-inspired drama In The Heart of the Sea premieres Friday and stars Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth. Also hitting theaters on Friday is The Big Short, director Adam McKay’s film about the financial crisis of the late 2000s with a ridiculously impressive ensemble cast that includes Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei, Melissa Leo, and Brad Pitt, among other familiar faces.

Business

‘Aquaman’ becomes first DC cinematic universe movie to cross $1 billion

Aquaman fell to second place at the weekend box office, but its worldwide earnings crossed the $1 billion mark, making it the first film in Warner Bros. Pictures' DC Extended Universe to do so.
Movies & TV

Here's everything we know about 'John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum'

John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Velvet Buzzsaw,’ ‘IO,’ Fyre Festival, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's trailers for a Fyre Festival documentary, as well as Velvet Buzzsaw and Iron Sky: The Coming Race.
Gaming

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service in 2020

NBCU is prepping a streaming service filled with its original content for a debut sometime next year, meaning that Michael, Dwight, and the rest of the Scranton crew might be moving to a new home.
Home Theater

Sling TV offers free shows, a la carte subscription channels to Roku users

If you are among a select group of Roku users, Sling TV has added free TV shows and the option to subscribe to individual channels without having to subscribe to the company's base level of channels.
Gaming

Break out the Wii: ‘Just Dance’ movie reportedly in the works

Sony's Screen Gems has reportedly acquired the film rights to the Just Dance video game series from Ubisoft, which previously helped bring the game Assassin's Creed to the big screen in 2016.
Movies & TV

Apple’s first original feature film reunites Bill Murray, Sofia Coppola

The Lost in Translation team of Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray will reunite with their A Very Murray Christmas collaborator Rashida Jones for On the Rocks, Apple and studio A24's first official feature together.
Movies & TV

You can get a screaming deal on LG OLED TVs just in time for the Super Bowl

LG is offering steep discounts on its critically acclaimed OLED TV models just in time for the Super Bowl, letting discerning viewers watch their favorite athletes with higher picture quality than ever.
Movies & TV

Jason Reitman’s ‘Ghostbusters’ sequel already has a creepy teaser trailer

Jason Reitman, son of Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, has secretly co-written a follow-up to the 1984 supernatural comedy. Filming begins this summer, but it's not clear if the original Ghostbusters will reprise their roles.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Movies & TV

Netflix recruits Steve Carell for the Trump-inspired comedy ‘Space Force’

Steve Carell, Netflix, and The Office showrunner Greg Daniels are teaming up for Space Force, a workplace comedy poking fun at the Trump White House's plans to establish a sixth branch of the U.S. military.