It was another rather uneventful weekend at the box office, as the studios continue to brace for the arrival of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, which is thankfully next week, with projections placing its opening in the $200 million range.
The one major new release is also the final release from Broad Green distributors, which is shuttering after a string of poorly performing flicks and this is just one last nail in the coffin. The senior skewing ‘Just Getting Started’ starring Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones and Renee Russo flopped with a weak $3.5M, barely enough to even make the Top Ten. Broad Green’s approach has always been for their movies to create a slow burn among older viewers, but this one failed, gaining a lousy C CinemaScore.
The big winner this weekend was James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ which expanded from 19 locations to 840. Audiences are packing screenings, granting the biopic $6.4M and the fourth place spot. Advance ticket sales were second only to ‘Coco‘ going into the weekend. Regal Cinemas are actually screening this film back-to-back with ‘The Room’ the cult favorite movie that served as its inspiration. Franco stars as amateur director/actor Tommy Wiseau, fronting an ensemble cast which also includes Dave Franco, Alison Brie, Seth Rogan, Zac Efron and Josh Hutcherson. ‘The Room’, released in 2003, is widely considered one of the worst movies ever made and has grown a ‘Rocky Horror’-esque following especially in the Los Angeles area, where fans flock to midnight screenings.
‘The Disaster Artist’ is just the leader when it comes to the specialty films that are steadily expanding their range. ‘The Shape of Water’, ‘I, Tonya’ and Winston Churchill biopic ‘The Darkest Hour’ are also doing well in few theaters, but adding more as word-of-mouth spreads and awards season draws closer. The one dud among the pack is Woody Allen’s ‘Wonder Wheel’, which was largely produced by Amazon.
Other than ‘The Disaster Artist’ entering the Top Five, not much else shifted. ‘Coco’ held on to #1 with $19M, ‘Justice League’ remained at #2 with $9.4M, ‘Wonder’ continued to thrive at #3 with $9.3M and ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ stayed strong at #5 with $6.25M.
- Coco (Disney) – $19M
- Justice League (Warner Brothers) – $9.4
- Wonder (Lionsgate) – $9.3M
- The Disaster Artist (A24) – $6.4M
- Thor: Ragnarok (Disney) – $6.25M
As stated, next week basically belongs to ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’. 20th Century Fox is going to try for a bit of counter-programming with the animated family film ‘Ferdinand’ (featuring the voice of John Cena), hoping to grab families that have already seen ‘Coco’.
The following week sees the releases of ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ and ‘Pitch Perfect 3’. The latter, at least, could work as counter-programming to ‘Star Wars’ enticing the younger female audience, but ‘Jumanji’ may get Force-choked out as its target audience is largely the same as ‘The Last Jedi”s and that film, should it follow the patterns of the last two ‘Star Wars’ movies, will be a juggernaut into the new year.
But I guess we’ll see! Check back to see how things pan out.