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'Ralph' Reigns Over Slow Weekend at the Box Office While 'Aquaman' Dominates in China Debut

by Brad Brevet
 

 
December 9, 2018

The domestic weekend was, for the most part, as light as was expected. While it wasn't the lowest grossing weekend of the year so far, it was the second lowest with the top twelve delivering a combined $77.8 million. This is all in advance of what should be a profitable holiday season to come and we got a hint as to just how profitable it could be with the launch of WB's Aquaman in China this weekend where the film delivered a massive $93.6 million, becoming the #1 film globally from one market alone.

Beginning with the domestic box office, while it looked like it might be neck-and-neck between Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet and Universal and Illumination's The Grinch at the top of the box office following Friday's estimates, Ralph carried the weekend as expected, though The Grinch wasn't far behind.

Ralph brought in an estimated $16.1 million for the weekend, pushing its domestic cume just over $140 million. Meanwhile, The Grinch had the second smallest drop in the top ten, dipping just -15% compared to last weekend for a $15.17 million three day and a domestic cume approaching $225 million as the holiday themed animated feature is taking full advantage of the season.

Internationally, Ralph added $18 million for a worldwide cume that currently totals $258.2 million. This weekend the film debuted in Spain with an estimated $4.6 million while China remains the feature's top market with $38.5 million so far.

As for The Grinch, it added nine markets this weekend including Mexico where it debuted with an estimated $5.2 million. Overall, the film brought in $25.9 million from overseas markets this weekend for an international cume totaling $98.9 million and a global tally reaching $322.4 million.

In third, MGM's Creed II brought in an estimated $10.3 million for a domestic cume that now stands at $96.5 million. Internationally, the film added an estimated $5.2 million from 31 overseas markets, bringing the overseas running cume to $23.2m million. The film's top market remains the UK with $8.9 million.

WB's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald dipped -40% for an estimated $6.8 million weekend for a domestic cume that now stands at $145.2 million. The film also brought in $22 million overseas this weekend for a global cume that now totals $568.5 million.

Rounding out the top five is Fox's Bohemian Rhapsody with an estimated $6 million as the drama is now just shy of $175 million domestically as it enters its sixth week in release. The film also continued its scorching performance overseas with an estimated $29.2 million this weekend for an international cume totaling $423 million and a worldwide tally that is now just $3.5 million shy of $600 million as it becomes one of the top ten worldwide releases of 2018.

Outside the top five, Universal's Green Book took advantage of its five Golden Globe nominations and recognition from the National Board of Review and American Film Institute. In fact, the film showed a fractional increase versus last weekend, bringing in an impressive $3.9 million for a domestic cume that is now just shy of $20 million. The film is currently playing in 1,181 locations nationwide.

Just outside the top ten, WB gave A Star is Born a little push this weekend, bringing it back to 1,631 theaters (+550) where it brought in an estimated $2.5 million. The film's domestic cume is now less than $3 million shy of topping $200 million. Internationally, A Star is Born has now brought in $172.6 million for a global tally just shy of $370 million.

Fox Searchlight's The Favourite delivered an estimated $1.4 million from 91 locations (+57) for a domestic cume that now totals $3.5 million. The film will expand into approximately 525 theaters beginning next weekend.

Additionally, Universal's re-release of Schindler's List in celebration of the film's 25th anniversary brought in an estimated $551k from 1,029 theaters for a minuscule $535 per theater.

In limited release, Focus Features's Mary Queen of Scots began its run in four locations with an estimated $200,000 for a chart-topping $50k per theater average. The film will expand next weekend into approximately 70 locations.

Also in limited release, Neon's Vox Lux open in six locations with an estimated $162,252 for a $27,042 per theater average; Roadside's Ben is Back debuted in four theaters with an estimated $80,972 ($20,243 PTA); and Hannover's Frank and Ava opened in one theater with an estimated $3,062. Of the lot, Ben is Back will be expanding to ~30 locations next weekend in five additional markets.

Beyond the domestic box office, the biggest news of the weekend is probably the debut of WB and DC Comics's Aquaman in China where the film debuted two weeks ahead of its domestic release to a monster $93.6 million. The performance represents 85% of the total market share for the weekend weekend in China while serving as the studio's largest opening weekend ever in China as well as the largest industry opening in the market for the month of December. The film will continue its international roll out next weekend, opening in 40+ more overseas markets, including the UK, Russia, Mexico and Brazil. The film opens domestically on December 21.

Also getting a head start on its domestic release, Universal's Mortal Engines debuted in 43 markets this weekend with an estimated $17.9 million. Leading the way was a #1 opening in Russia with an estimated $4.1 million followed by Indonesia ($1.6m), South Korea ($1.6m) and Australia ($1m). Key upcoming releases include the December 12 opening in France followed by Italy (Dec 13), Germany (Dec 13), UK (Dec 14), Spain (Dec 14), Mexico (Jan 4), Brazil (Jan 10) and Japan (Mar 1).

Looking ahead, while this weekend didn't feature any new wide releases, next week gets us back on track with Warner Bros's release of Clint Eastwood's The Mule in 2,400+ locations; Sony will debut the critically acclaimed animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse into 3,400+ locations; and Universal will release the aforementioned Mortal Engines into ~3,000 theaters. Additionally, Fox will begin the release of the PG-13 rated edit of Deadpool 2 titled Once Upon a Deadpool into ~500 locations beginning on Wednesday.

You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.

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