The second awkward post-Thanksgiving pre-Christmas weekend of 2018 was an extremely quiet one, in fact, it was the most second lowest-grossing weekend of 2018. Heck, the number one movie in the world managed not to be a new domestic box office newcomer but Aquaman which grossed a fantastic $93.6 million in China. Meanwhile on the domestic front, two animated films were in close competition for the number one spot. Ralph Breaks The Internet turned out to be the victor with $16.1 million, a 37% drop from last weekend. That’s a bigger third-weekend drop than Moana and Coco, though, with a $140.8 million domestic gross after just 17 days of releases, nobody at Disney is complaining. Right behind Ralph was The Grinch, which grossed $15.1 million, a tiny 15% dip from last weekend. That’s both a bigger fifth-weekend gross and a small fifth-weekend drop than the ones seen by the live-action Grinch and brings this animated family movies domestic haul to a terrific $223.4 million. Interestingly, Ralph and Grinch topping the box office for the second weekend in a row makes this the first time in history two animated films have secured the top two spots at the domestic box office for two weekends in a row. Animation’s dominance at the domestic box office shall continue when Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse inevitably tops the box office this weekend.
In third place was Creed II which dipped 38% to gross another $10.3 million for a $96.4 million domestic total. This movie is days away from becoming only the fourteenth MGM movie ever to gross over $100 million domestically and only the fifth Rocky movie to cross that domestic box office threshold. In its fourth weekend of release, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald dropped 40%, a slightly better hold than the 40% fourth-weekend drop of the first Fantastic Beasts. With another $6.8 million in the bank, this new Wizarding World movie has grossed $145.2 million domestically. Rounding out the top five was Bohemian Rhapsody, which saw another outstanding weekend-to-weekend drop as it dipped just 25% to gross another $6 million for a $173.5 million domestic gross.
Right outside the top five was Instant Family, which dipped just 22% for a fourth weekend gross of $5.6 million, taking it to a $54.1 million. Green Book continued its strong domestic box office performance with a remarkable .1% increase from last weekend, giving it a third-weekend wide release gross of $3.9 million and a domestic gross of $19.9 million. I’m not sure how it’ll be able to hold onto its screens in the face of the countless late December new releases but it’s clear that Green Book is taking off as the word-of-mouth driven crowdpleaser people it was intended to be. Also in its third-weekend of wide release was Robin Hood, which fell a tiny 25% to gross another $3.5 million for a domestic haul of just $27.2 million. Last weekends sole new wide release newcomer, The Possession of Hannah Grace, was the rare holdover to have a major weekend-to-weekend drop as it fell 50% this frame to gross an additional $3.17 million for an $11.5 million domestic gross.
Rounding out the top ten was Widows, which dipped just 29% for a fourth-weekend gross of $3.1 million for a domestic gross of $38.1 million. In its tenth weekend of release, A Star Is Born played in IMAX for the first time, which, coupled with all the buzz from its numerous Golden Globes nominations, allowed it to increase a whopping 38% from last weekend to gross another $2.5 million for a $197.1 million domestic gross. Also impressing this weekend was The Favourite, which expanded into 91 locations and grossed $1.4 million, giving it a per-theater average of $15,714 and a domestic gross of $3.4 million. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms fell only 27% this frame, giving it its first-ever weekend-to-weekend drop under 40%, though it was too little too late given how it grossed just $979,000 this weekend for an anemic domestic total of only $52.5 million.
The theatrical re-release of Schindler’s List was the only new wide release of the weekend and it grossed just $551,000 at 1,029 for a per-theater average of only $535. Despite its lackluster per-theater averages these past two weekends, Boy Erased is actually still in wide release, it grossed another $420,000 (a 30% drop from last weekend) from 622 locations for a per-theater average of $675 and a domestic total of only $6.3 million. Hot off the heels of Willem Dafoe getting a Best Actor Golden Globes nod, At Eternity’s Gate grossed $310,000 from 172 locations for a per-theater average of only $1,802, taking it to a $1.08 million domestic total. Hoping to help boost Glenn Close’s chances of getting a Best Actress nomination this year, The Wife expanded back into 421 locations this weekend and grossed another $222,457 for a per-theatre average of $529, enough to take it past the $8 million mark domestically to a current domestic haul of $8.01 million.
The realm of new limited releases was hoping this frame with a trio of high-profile debuts. The biggest of this weekend’s limited release newcomers was Mary, Queen of Scots, which got off to a fantastic $200,000 start at 4 locations with a $50,000 per-theater average, the ninth best-limited release opening weekend per-theater average of 2018. That’s a better start than fellow Focus Features title Darkest Hour, which went on to gross $56.4 million after it expanded into wide release in late December. It shall be fascinating to see how big of a domestic box office haul Focus can bring Mary to when they expand it later on in December. Next up we have Vox Lux, which grossed $162,252 from 6 locations for a per-theater average of $27,042, the fourth-biggest opening weekend ever for NEON who plan to bring this one into wide release on Friday. Finally, we have Ben Is Back, which debuted to an only OK $80,972 from 4 locations for a per-theater average of $20,243.
The top 12 movies this weekend grossed a total of $77.7 million, up 2% from this same weekend last year when another animated Disney title, Coco, topped the box office for the third weekend in a row.