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Weekend Box Office: Thor Murders The Orient Express (and Daddies)

A bit sensationalist, but you know what we mean.

After Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok promised a month significantly better than last, strong performances peppered this weekend.

Taking first, to the surprise of nobody, is the aforementioned Thor: Ragnarok. The Taika Waititi-helmed flick added $57.08 million in its sophomore frame, a reasonable -53.5% dip from its debut. Domestic total is $212.07m, eclipsing the lifetime totals of 2011’s Thor ($181.03m) and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World ($206.36m) in just 10 days. Ragnarok’s second weekend hold was in line with this May’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (-55.5%) and stronger than this July’s Spider-Man: Homecoming (-62.2%). In fact, Ragnarok is pacing +2.3% ahead of Homecoming at the same point of release. Whether Ragnarok can match/exceed Homecoming’s $334.06m gross depends on how well it holds in the coming weeks, especially against Warner Bros./DC’s Justice League this weekend. So far, so good for now, though.

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© Walt Disney Pictures

Overseas, Thor: Ragnarok minted $77.4 million from all international markets. Foreign tally is $440.03m and global is $652.1m, overtaking The Dark World ($644.57m). China continues to impress with a $95.2m haul; other top markets are the U.K. ($34.1m), South Korea ($31m), Brazil ($24.4m), and Australia ($20.4m).

In second, Paramount’s Daddy’s Home 2 took $29.65 million from 3,575 hubs, punching out most predictions (mine included) that pegged it in the low-$20m range and performing higher than it had any right to, depending on who you ask. Of course, even when your movie isn’t good, it helps to have a predecessor that grossed $150.36m domestically/$242.79m globally. It also helps to be the kind of film that no sane person goes into expecting a comic masterwork, though the tagline, “More daddies. More problems,” can be fantastically ambiguous.

Alas, Daddy’s Home 2 serves as a comforting grace for Paramount’s rancid year; the studio’s highest-grossing entry in 2017 to date is Transformers: The Last Knight ($130.17m), a film that managed to collapse their biggest franchise and serve as the bridge for that franchise’s upcoming cinematic universe anyway. So, uh, that’s cool. In fact, there is a great chance Daddy’s Home 2 will be Paramount’s #2 movie of the year. Make of that what you will. That said, credit where it’s due – Daddy’s Home 2 performed decently enough, opening -24.5% below its predecessor ($38.74m), which had the benefit of opening over Christmas and being (arguably) one of the few family options that wasn’t Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

© Paramount Pictures

Regarding Daddy’s Home 2’s potential run, a decent comparison would be Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which similarly opened -25% below its high-grossing predecessor. Mall Cop 2 carried a 2.99x multiplier, the same of which would give Daddy’s Home 2 a final tally just under $90m. Thanks to the approaching holiday season, Daddy’s Home 2 can hit $100m+ unless Justice League and Disney/Pixar’s Coco gut it. Overseas, Daddy’s Home 2 debuted in Romania and the Netherlands, grossing $429k for its trouble. Global haul is $30.08m.

In third, Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express impressed with a $28.68 million opening from 3,341 venues. Analysts pegged Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adaptation for a debut in the high-teen millions with a shot at crossing $20m. More impressive than beating tracking, however, is that Orient Express managed to draw big numbers from a crowd who’s typically slow to catch movies – 51% of Orient Express’ audience was >35 years old. This is the audience responsible for granting adult-skewing fare leggy runs, so to see such a turnout here is surprising (and bodes well for Orient’s future prospects).

The latest Orient Express managed to open high in spite of mixed reception – 58% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes; 6.8/10 score on IMDb – and relied on source material and star power, the latter of which being less of a draw these days. As for comparisons, last year’s The Girl on the Train, also going off mixed reaction, opened to $24.54m and tallied $75.4m. A similar pattern gives Orient Express a $88m+ haul, just fine for a $55m production with global appeal. Holidays are fast approaching as well (i.e., start shopping, Karen), possibly awarding Orient Express a boost in terms of legs.

murder on the orient express
© 20th Century Fox

Internationally, Murder on the Orient Express pulled $47.35 million from 57 markets, +109% over 2014’s Gone Girl ($201.56m foreign gross) in the same territories and accounting for exchange rates. This weekend includes a strong $19m debut in China. Overseas total for Orient Express is $58.8m. Global is $87.48m. Top markets outside China are the U.K. ($17.5m), Russia ($5.7m), Australia ($3m), and Germany ($2.6m).

Taking fourth, STX’s A Bad Moms Christmas added $11.47 million in its second weekend, falling a light -31.6% from its (underwhelming) debut. Worth noting here that this drop is the best yet for a 2017 R-rated comedy. Domestic cume for Bad Moms Christmas stands at $39.87m and it may just hang on through Christmas. Bad Moms Christmas is pacing -28% behind its predecessor’s $55.46m haul at the same point in release, although the pic carries a reasonable $28m production cost so it’s not that big a deal. Overseas, the Bad Moms took in $8.5 million from 24 markets for a $18.2m international total. Global tally is $58.03m. Top markets for A Bad Moms Christmas are the U.K. ($5.5m), Australia ($4.8m), and Germany ($2m).

© STX Entertainment

Rounding out the top five, Lionsgate’s Jigsaw sliced $3.42 million in its third frame for a $34.36m cume. Jigsaw’s -47.8% decline is the best third weekend fall in the series since 2005’s Saw II (-45.9%), but that’s a mild silver lining when the movie’s the second-lowest grosser in the series. Internationally, Jigsaw added $8.6 million from 73 markets. Overseas total is $44.7m and global is $79.06m, good numbers for a $10m flick. Top markets for Jigsaw are the U.K. ($6.1m), Russia ($4.5m), Germany ($3.5m), Italy ($3m), and France ($2.1m).

 

HOLDOVERS

Boo 2
© Lionsgate Entertainment

6. Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (Lionsgate) – $2 million (-55.9%), $45.85m cume
7. Geostorm (Warner Bros.) – $1.64 million (-48.6%), $31.72m cume
8. Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros.) – $1.46 million (-37.1%), $88.05m cume
9. Happy Death Day (Universal) – $1.27 million (-53.1%), $54.91m cume
10. Lady Bird (A24) – $1.2 million (+229.2%), $1.73m cume

NOTABLES
– Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight) – $322,168 (NEW), 4 theatres ($80,542 avg.)
– My Friend Dahmer (FilmRise) – $188,034 (+429.0%), 45 theatres ($4,179 avg.), $241,241 cume
Last Flag Flying (Lionsgate) – $173,564 (+327.9%), 32 theatres ($5,424 avg.), $243,337 cume
– Bill Nye: Science Guy (PBS) – $14,350 (+51.2%), 1 theatre, $22,786 cume
– Thelma (Orchard) – $10,841 (NEW), 1 theatre

Struggling for inspiration this festive season? Check out our comprehensive guide for the best nerdy and geeky Christmas gift ideas!