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'Doctor Strange' & 'Fantastic Beasts' Lead November 2016 Box Office

by Brad Brevet
 

 
December 13, 2016

After calendar grosses for September and October were unable to improve on 2015 numbers, November 2016 saw a +7.6% uptick compared to November 2015 as 264 movies grossed nearly $960 million. This also puts the Holiday 2016 season up +13% to date compared to Holiday 2015 with 209 movies combining to gross over $1.15 billion compared to $1 billion from 215 movies at the same point last year. Additionally, while August, September and October only saw two films (Suicide Squad and Sully) top $100 million at the domestic box office, four November releases have already topped the century mark, led by Disney and Marvel's Doctor Strange with $222.2 million and counting.

As noted, Doctor Strange led November's releases after opening over the first weekend of the month with $85 million and has since gone on to gross over $222 million. Strange was one of two Disney releases in November, the other being Moana, to gross over $100 million domestically adding to the studio's six films that have grossed over $100 million this year alone. As a result, the combined gross for the 15 movies Disney has released so far this year was at a record $2.45 billion by the end of November, topping the previous yearly record of $2.44 billion set by Universal just last year. As of December 11, Disney's domestic gross stands at $2.52 billion and they still have Rogue One: A Star Wars Story set to hit theaters this weekend along with the continued performances of Doctor Strange and Moana, both domestically and at the international box office.

Speaking of international performance, Disney's success in 2016 extends beyond just North America as the studio has four of the top five worldwide releases of 2016—three of which are the only films to have grossed over $1 billion globally this year—and five of the top ten. Here's the top ten worldwide releases of 2016 as of December 11:

  • Captain America: Civil War (Dis.) - $1.153 billion
  • Finding Dory (Dis.) - $1.027 billion
  • Zootopia (Dis.) - $1.023 billion
  • The Jungle Book (2016) (Dis.) - $966.60 million
  • The Secret Life of Pets (Uni.) - $875.10 million
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (WB) - $873.30 million
  • Deadpool (Fox) - $782.60 million
  • Suicide Squad (WB) - $745.60 million
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (WB) - $682.20 million
  • Doctor Strange (Dis.) - $647.30 million

While Disney's 2016 is unquestionably impressive, with even more success to come, it is notable to take a look at the year Warner Bros. has been having, delivering three of the top grossing worldwide releases of 2016, the most recent of which being the highly successful continuation of J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Beasts opened with $74.4 million on November 18 and his since grossed just shy of $200 million domestically so far and over $680 million worldwide making it one of three films, along with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, contributing heavily to one of the studio's largest years ever at the domestic box office.

It should be noted that Batman v Superman certainly didn't live up to the lofty expectations set for it prior to the film's release as $1 billion globally was assumed to be a sure thing once the title was announced, but Suicide Squad appears to have righted the ship somewhat. Neither film, however, managed to win over critics and both only seemed to add fuel to the fire that is the Marvel vs. DC Comics online conversation. That said, as of December 11 the studio's domestic gross stood at $1.85 billion, second only to the $1.9 billion year they had in 2009 by ~$62 million. Looking ahead, WB has the release of Will Smith's Collateral Beauty set for this weekend followed by the limited Christmas Day release of Ben Affleck's Live by Night.

Moving along, November saw the release of Fox's animated title Trolls, which debuted with $46.5 million and has gone on to gross over $145 million domestically and nearly $320 million globally on a $125 million budget. These aren't outstanding numbers, but they are certainly an improvement when compared to the studio's only other November release, Rules Don't Apply, which debuted with $2.17 million from 2,382 theaters over the extended Thanksgiving weekend and has yet to top $4 million after 19 days in release. The film's $1.58 million opening three-day is one of the worst openings all-time for a film premiering in over 2,000 theaters.

Rounding out the top five among November's new releases is Paramount's Arrival, which hit theaters on November 11 with $24 million and has been holding steady ever since as its domestic gross stands at $81.4 million with a worldwide gross over $130 million on a $47 million budget. The film has yet to be released in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and several other Asia Pacific markets.

Here's a look at the top five among the month's new releases:

  • Doctor Strange (11/4) - $222.3m Total Gross / $85.1m Opening
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (11/18) - $198.9m Total Gross / $74.4m Opening
  • Trolls (11/4) - $145.4m Total Gross / $46.6m Opening
  • Moana (11/23) - $144.7m Total Gross / $56.6m Opening
  • Arrival (11/11) - $81.4m Total Gross / $24.1m Opening
Total gross is calculated as of December 11

Just outside the top five was Lionsgate's release of Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge, which debuted on November 4 up against Doctor Strange and Trolls and managed a strong $15.1 million opening and has been holding well ever since. Hacksaw recently topped $60 million domestically for a 4x domestic multiplier and $100 million worldwide on the heels of a second place opening in China this past weekend.

Things weren't all rainbows and unicorns in November, however, as Paramount's release of the Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard war thriller Allied disappointed out of the gates. Budgeted at a reported $85 million, the film opened with $17.7 million over the extended Thanksgiving weekend and has so far managed to gross only $35.5 million domestically and another $34.8 million internationally for a global take just over $70 million.

Another disappointment was TriStar's release of Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, which was filmed in 3D 4K at 120 frames per second. Thing is, only two theaters in all of the United States had the technical capability to exhibit the film in its intended format. Billy Lynn debuted in those two theaters with $114,129 over its opening weekend, but when it expanded into 1,176 theaters a week later it managed a meager $901,062 and has since brought in just $1.7 million domestically and ~$25 million internationally ($23.86 million in China alone). The film was made on a reported budget of $40 million.

In limited release, November began the awards season run for Manchester by the Sea, which debuted with $256,498 from just four theaters and will be expanding nationwide this weekend after a top ten finish this past weekend while not yet having made it into more than 366 theaters. Focus' Loving is another noteworthy limited release, which has grossed over $6.5 million after debuting in four theaters on November 4 and has yet to make it into more than 572 theaters.

From a yearly perspective, 2016 is now +3.6% ahead of where 2015 was by the end of November as this is the first time the domestic box office topped $10 billion by the end of November. As of December 11, the domestic box office is now at $10.39 billion, climbing further ahead of where 2015 stood as it broke the record last year becoming the only year in which the domestic box office ever topped $11 billion.

While we're nearly halfway through December 2016 already, this weekend offers the month's first major releases. That, of course, being Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which the studio is eying an opening anywhere from $120-150 million with sights set on a $300+ million global debut. Additional upcoming releases include the aforementioned Collateral Beauty opposite Rogue One, which will be met the following week by three big releases hitting theaters on Wednesday, December 21, including the video game adaptation Assassin's Creed, Passengers starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence and Illumination's latest animated feature Sing.

The awards season is also in full swing and will see the upcoming wide release of Manchester by the Sea along with upcoming releases including Denzel Washington's Fences, Martin Scorsese's Silence, J.A. Bayona's A Monster Calls, Patriots Day, Hidden Figures and Paterson.

Finally, several films ended their domestic run in November, below is a list of the top twenty based on cumulative domestic gross.

  • Suicide Squad (WB) - $133.7m Opening / $325.1m Total gross after 98 days in release
  • Ghostbusters (Sony) - $46m Opening / $128.4m Total gross after 119 days in release
  • Sausage Party (Sony) - $34.3m Opening / $97.7m Total gross after 84 days in release
  • Ice Age: Collision Course (Fox) - $21.4m Opening / $64.1m Total gross after 105 days in release
  • Ouija: Origin of Evil (Uni) - $14.1m Opening / $35m Total gross after 35 days in release
  • When the Bough Breaks (Screen Gems) - $14.2m Opening / $29.7m Total gross after 70 days in release
  • Hell or High Water* (Lionsgate) - $.6m Opening / $27m Total gross after 98 days in release
  • Bridget Jones's Baby (Uni) - $8.6m Opening / $24.1m Total gross after 49 days in release
  • Kevin Hart: What Now? (Uni) - $11.8m Opening / $23.6m Total gross after 42 days in release
  • Snowden (Open Road) - $8m Opening / $21.6m Total gross after 63 days in release
  • Masterminds (2016) (Relativity) - $6.5m Opening / $17.4m Total gross after 42 days in release
  • The Light Between Oceans (Disney) - $4.8m Opening / $12.5m Total gross after 63 days in release
  • No Manches Frida** (Lionsgate) - $3.7m Opening / $11.5m Total gross after 63 days in release
  • Southside with You (Roadside) - $2.9m Opening / $6.3m Total gross after 70 days in release
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople** (Orchard) - $.1m Opening / $5.2m Total gross after 133 days in release
  • Ae Dil Hai Mushkil** (FIP) - $2.2m Opening / $4.3m Total gross after 28 days in release
  • Max Steel (Open Road) - $2.2m Opening / $3.8m Total gross after 21 days in release
  • Indignation** (Roadside) - $.1m Opening / $3.4m Total gross after 98 days in release
  • Desierto** (STX) - $.5m Opening / $2m Total gross after 35 days in release
  • Shin Godzilla** (FUNimation) - $.5m Opening / $1.9m Total gross after 31 days in release
* Platform release; ** Limited release

For a look at November's performance click here and for the full December release calendar click here.

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.



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