After last week’s stellar $85M debut of “Marvel’s Doctor Strange,” the domestic box-office is switching gears and offering up a mystery-drama, a thriller and a holiday-comedy. Releasing in theaters nationwide this week are the comedy “Almost Christmas,” the sci-fi mystery drama “Arrival,” and the horror-thriller “Shut In,” all hoping to take a large chunk of Doctor Strange’s second week in theaters. Also releasing this weekend, in New York and L.A., is the drama “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”. Of course this is just a precursor to the gigantic box-office releases that are set to release next week, but we will get to those after the top-five.
A few films came close, but Disney’s “Doctor Strange” took the top-spot on the charts again this week with a $43.03M follow-up weekend. The film remained in 3,882 locations this week, and has now grossed over $153.01M domestically. “Marvel’s Doctor Strange” was directed by Scott Derrickson, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rachel McAdams
Remaining as the only newly-released family-comedy, “Trolls” from FOX studios took second-place overall with a $35.05M weekend. Now in its second week, the animated hit remained in 4,066 locations nationwide and has now grossed $94.01M domestically for the studio. “Trolls” was directed by Walt Dohrn and Mike Mitchell, working off a screenplay written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. The film features the voice-talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and Zooey Deschanel.
While it didn’t make number-one, “Arrival” was the highest ranking new-release this week, the film debuted in third-place overall. The mystery-drama earned $24M for Paramount across 2,317 locations. “Arrival” was directed by Denis Villeneuve, working off a screenplay written by Eric Heisserer. The film is based on the story written by Ted Chiang called “Story of Your Life“. The film stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.
“Almost Christmas” from Universal Pictures took fourth-place overall with a $15.56M weekend across 2,376 locations. “Almost Christmas” was written and directed by David E. Talbert, the film stars Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps and Danny Glover.
“Hacksaw Ridge” from Lionsgate managed to take the fifth-spot on the domestic charts, pulling-in $10.78M across 2,971 locations. The film, now in its second-week in theaters, has grossed over $32.26M for the studio. “Hacksaw Ridge” was directed by Mel Gibson, working from a screenplay that was written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington and Luke Bracey.
Missing the top-five but worth mentioning is the thriller “Shut In,” which missed the mark and landed in seventh-place during its debut weekend with a disappointing $3.7M gain. The film did open to 2,058 locations, but it did not make the top-five this week. “Shut In” was directed by Farren Blackburn, the screenplay was written by Christina Hodson. The film stars Naomi Watts, Charlie Heaton and Jacob Tremblay.
“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” only opened in two locations this week, but the TriStar project did manage to earn $120K for the studio. “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” was directed by Ang Lee, the film is based on the novel written by Ben Fountain and Jean-Christophe Castelli wrote the screenplay. The film stars Joe Alwyn, Garrett Hedlund and Arturo Castro.
You will want to set a few reminders to hit the cinema next weekend, as “Bleed for This,” “The Edge of Seventeen,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Nocturnal Animals” are all scheduled to start popping up in local theaters and select locations. While the go-to favorite is surely “Fantastic Beasts,” the teen drama “The Edge of Seventeen” has been a crowd-favorite at film festivals across the country leading up to its release. The smaller projects, “Manchester by the Sea,” “Bleed for This” and “Nocturnal Animals” are all opening to attract Oscar-buzz leading into award-season, and it will be very interesting to see which of these three projects pulls ahead with moviegoers. All three films offer up a terrific cast, and each has a shot to take second-place to Warner Bros. Harry Potter movie-machine.