Post Election Domestic Box Office Spikes by 50%
$DIS, $DWA, $FOX, $VIA, $CMCSA, $LGF, $SNE
From Doctor Strange to Trolls to SyFy thriller Arrival, movies playing at the North American box office saw a boost at the weekend as moviegoers flocked to the theaters following the conclusion of the Y 2016 US Presidential election and Donald Trump’s victory.
Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, opened with $24-M, while holiday comedy Almost Christmas debuted nicely with $15.7-M. Arrival came in ahead of predictions at $16-M.
Doctor Strange and Trolls both did better then forecast, as did a number of other holdovers.
Overall, domestic box-office revenue was up 50% over the same weekend last year.
Marvel and Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) Doctor Strange easily stayed at # 1 in its 2nd outing, falling 49% to $44-M. That’s the lowest 2nd-weekend decline among the last 10 Marvel Cinematic Universal titles, and the 3rd-lowest among all MCU movies behind Iron Man and Thor.
Through Sunday, Doctor Strange‘s domestic box office total stands at $153-M for a global take of $493-M after topping the weekend charts overseas with another $60.2-M.
Disney has just marked its best year ever at the domestic box office with $2.3-M, adding to its record year overseas and worldwide.
Trolls, from DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA), and Fox (NASDAQ:FOX) placed # 2 with $35.1 million for a 10-day domestic total of $94-M after declining just 25%, one of the lowest 2nd-weekend decliners for an animated film. Overseas, the pic took in another $18.3-M from 68 markets for a foreign total of $128.3-M and global box office take of $222.3-M.
Arrival initial performance is a needed win for Paramount, a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA). It skewed slightly female (52%) and older, with 85% of ticket buyers over the age of 25.
Arrival began its life as an indy film before Paramount pre-bought North American rights to the adult drama for a record-breaking $20-M in Y 2014. It was produced and financed by FilmNation, Lava Bear and 21 Laps with a script by Eric Heisserer, based on Story of Your Life by author Ted Chiang. The film cost about $47-M to produce.
Almost Christmas from Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and producer Will Packer’s ensemble comedy targets African-American audiences, as a patriarch of a large family that comes together for the holidays and deals with complicated family dynamics.
Rounding out the Top 5 was director Mel Gibson’s World War II drama, Hacksaw Ridge, which declined 29% to $10.8-M for a 10-day domestic box office total of $32.3-M for Lionsgate (NYSE:LGF) and its partners.
EuropaCorp’s Shut In came in ahead of early projections with an estimated $3.7-M domestic debut. The thriller stars Naomi Watts, Oliver Platt and Jacob Tremblay.
At the specialty box office
Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk debuted in 2 theaters in New York and Los Angeles, grossing $120,300 for a theater average of $60,150. While that’s the best location average of the weekend, it did not come close to breaking any records. Next weekend, Mr. Lee’s drama will expand into a total of 800-plus theaters, which will project the film in digital, Vs the groundbreaking technology Lee used.
Billy Lynn is making waves in China where it launched to a stellar $11.7-M this weekend, toppling Doctor Strange to take the Top Spot at the box office.
Have some fun, see a movie this week.
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