Box office: Arrival beats expectations in its big-screen debut

Box office: Arrival beats expectations in its big-screen debut November 13, 2016

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A smart sci-fi film was the top new movie at the box office this week.

Arrival, which depicts an effort by the world’s governments to communicate with extra-terrestrials who have parked their spaceships over a dozen cities, landed in third place with an estimated $24 million between Thursday and Sunday nights. That was quite a bit better than the $12-18 million that some observers had predicted.

Arrival, which was produced for about $40 million, had the best first weekend of any film directed by Denis Villeneuve (beating the $20.8 million that Prisoners opened to in 2013), and it marks the second-best opening of any film with Amy Adams in the lead role (behind the $34.4 million that Enchanted opened to in 2007).

The top two films this week were identical to the top two films from last week.

Doctor Strange earned $43 million in its second week, a drop of only 49.4% from its debut last week. Among Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, only Iron Man (48.1%) and Thor (47.2%) have had less-steep second-weekend drops.

The film has earned $153 million so far in North America, and it is still tracking ahead of Thor: The Dark World, the only other MCU movie released outside of spring or summer. That film had earned $145.1 million by this point in its release.

Doctor Strange has also earned another $339.6 million overseas, which puts it ahead of all other MCU non-sequels except for Guardians of the Galaxy.1 The Sorcerer Supreme has also earned more money internationally than Iron Man 2.

Globally, Doctor Strange has earned $492.6 million altogether.

Trolls, for its part, dropped only 24.8% and took in $35.1 million, thereby raising its domestic cume to $94 million. The DreamWorks animated film has earned another $128.3 million overseas for a global total of $222.3 million so far.

There were two other wide releases in the top ten this week.

The comedy Almost Christmas landed in fourth place with $15.6 million, while the thriller Shut In landed in seventh with $3.7 million — the lowest wide-release opening for Naomi Watts since Stay opened to $2.2 million in 2005.

Meanwhile, in other box-office news…

Hacksaw Ridge earned $10.8 million and ranked fifth in its second week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $32.3 million. The film has earned another $2.1 million overseas for a global total of $34.4 million.

The Accountant earned $4.6 million and ranked sixth in its fifth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $77.7 million. The film has earned another $50.9 million overseas for a global total of $128.6 million.

Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween earned $3.6 million and ranked eighth in its fourth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $70.4 million. The film has earned another $1.1 million overseas for a global total of $71.5 million.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back earned $3.33 million and ranked ninth in its fourth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $54.6 million. The film has earned another $73 million overseas for a global total of $127.6 million.

And Inferno earned $3.25 million and ranked tenth in its third week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $31.6 million. The film has earned another $171 million overseas for a global total of $202.6 million.

Now for a bit of extra data on the year’s top-grossing animated films:

In North America, The Secret Life of Pets still ranks eighth among animated films:

  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $486.1 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $441.2 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $422.8 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $415.0 million
  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $400.7 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $380.8 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $368.1 million
  • 2016 — The Secret Life of Pets (Universal) — $366.9 million
  • 2015 — Inside Out (Pixar) — $356.5 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $341.3 million

Overseas, Finding Dory still ranks 10th while The Secret Life of Pets still ranks 13th:

  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $875.7 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $823.4 million
  • 2012 — Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox) — $715.9 million
  • 2009 — Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) — $690.1 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $682.4 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $648.2 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $602.7 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $559.5 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $545.7 million
  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $538.2 million
  • 2012 — Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (DreamWorks) — $530.5 million
  • 2010 — Shrek Forever After (DreamWorks) — $513.9 million
  • 2016 — The Secret Life of Pets (Universal) — $505.1 million
  • 2015 — Inside Out (Pixar) — $501.1 million
  • 2011 — Kung Fu Panda 2 (DreamWorks) — $500.4 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $478.6 million
  • 2007 — Shrek the Third (DreamWorks) — $476.2 million
  • 2013 — Monsters University (Pixar) — $475.7 million
  • 2006 — Ice Age: The Meltdown (Fox) — $465.6 million
  • 2014 — How to Train Your Dragon 2 (DreamWorks) — $444.5 million

And worldwide, Finding Dory still ranks fourth and The Secret Life of Pets still ranks 12th:

  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $400.7 + 875.7 = 1276.5 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $336.0 + 823.4 = 1159.4 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $415.0 + 648.2 = 1063.2 million
  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $486.1 + 538.2 = 1024.3 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $341.3 + 682.4 = 1023.6 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $368.1 + 602.7 = 970.8 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $422.8 + 545.7 = 968.5 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $380.8 + 559.5 = 940.3 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $441.2 + 478.6 = 919.8 million
  • 2009 — Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) — $196.6 + 690.1 = 886.7 million
  • 2012 — Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox) — $161.3 + 715.9 = 877.2 million
  • 2016 — The Secret Life of Pets (Universal) — $366.9 + 505.1 = 872.0 million
  • 2015 — Inside Out (Pixar) — $356.5 + 501.1 = 857.6 million
  • 2007 — Shrek the Third (DreamWorks) — $322.7 + 476.2 = 799.0 million
  • 2010 — Shrek Forever After (DreamWorks) — $238.7 + 513.9 = 752.6 million
  • 2012 — Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (DreamWorks) — $216.4 + 530.5 = 746.9 million
  • 2013 — Monsters University (Pixar) — $268.5 + 475.7 = 744.2 million
  • 2009 — Up (Pixar) — $293.0 + 442.1 = 735.1 million
  • 2011 — Kung Fu Panda 2 (DreamWorks) — $165.2 + 500.4 = 665.7 million
  • 2006 — Ice Age: The Meltdown (Fox) — $195.3 + 465.6 = 660.9 million

Next week brings us Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Bleed for This, The Edge of Seventeen and the expansion of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

1. For the purposes of this discussion, the original Avengers was basically a mega-sequel, given that all of its major characters — heroes and villains alike — had been featured in earlier films.

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