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Thanksgiving Weekend Brings Box Office Bounty With ‘Encanto’, ‘House of Gucci’, & ‘Resident Evil’

Despite a strong showing from Ghostbusters: Afterlife last weekend, it has been a relatively quiet November since Eternals opened big the first weekend of the month. Things are looking to pick up this long Thanksgiving weekend with three promising new theatrical exclusive wide releases, and the box office will likely be back above $100 million for the three-day after two weekends of falling under.

‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Slimes The Competition With A $44 Million Bow; ‘King Richard’ Double-Faults In Its Debut

Turns out there’s still some life left in those proton packs after all. Following a poorly received, all-female reboot in 2016, Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife slimed the competition at the pre-Thanksgiving box office this weekend, debuting to a much stronger-than-expected $44 million domestic haul. Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ Will Smith-led awards-hopeful, King Richard, stumbled out of the gate, bowing in fourth place with an underwhelming $5.7 million as the Joaquin Phoenix heartstring-puller C'mon C'mon.soared in limited release.

Ghostbusters Are Back In ‘Afterlife’, Will Smith Starrer ‘King Richard’ Debuts Amid Oscar Buzz

The Ghostbusters are back this weekend in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, opening in 4,300 theaters including IMAX and other large screens. It is the fourth film in Sony’s franchise and a direct sequel to the first two films, disregarding the 2016 reboot. Afterlife is a family affair, being written and directed by Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air), whose father Ivan Reitman directed Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II and is producing Afterlife. Even the story keeps it the family, focusing on the grandchildren of O.G. ghostbuster Egon Spengler, who was played in the original films by the late Harold Ramis. The cast is headlined by Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard ("Stranger Things"), Carrie Coon ("The Leftovers", Fargo"), and Mckenna Grace (Gifted, Annabelle Comes Home), but the real treat for fans is the return of the old gang as the film brings back Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts.

Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ Holds Off ‘Clifford The Big Red Dog’ For The Top Spot; ‘Belfast’ Enters The Awards Race In Limited Release

There were no massive surprises at the box office this weekend as Marvel’s splashy superhero tentpole, Eternals, added $27.5 million in its sophomore outing, holding off a surprisingly strong $16.4 million debut from Paramount’s family-friendly canine film, Clifford the Big Red Dog, atop the domestic charts during an otherwise sleepy weekend. Meanwhile, Kenneth Branagh’s buzzy coming-of-age drama, Belfast, officially entered the awards-season derby in limited release, snagging an eighth-place finish with $1.8 million.

‘Eternals’ Looking At Another Number One Weekend Against Newcomer ‘Clifford The Big Red Dog’

Marvel’s Eternals dominated at the box office last weekend, opening to $71.3 million and making up 65% of the entire weekend box office, bringing the overall box office back above $100 million after two frames of falling short. While October had three weekends in a row where the box office stayed above $100 million, November is looking more like the somewhat front-loaded July which, despite some solid openings, never crossed $100 million in a weekend after Black Widow’s July 9-11 opening.

‘Eternals’ Opens To A Strong $71 Million In North America Despite Less-Than-Marvel-ous Reviews

When it comes to the box office, success is relative. For most Hollywood studios, a $71 million domestic opening would be cause to bust out the bubbly and do a victory dance. But when your movie carries the Marvel banner, expectations are sky high. That’s why the debut of the superhero studio’s latest tentpole, Eternals, may seem like a bit of a mixed bag. Yes, the rookie’s $161.7 million global haul over the weekend was the second-biggest worldwide bow of 2021 (behind onlyF9: The Fast Saga’s $163 million), but its less-than-Marvel-ous reception among critics and audiences raises nagging questions about whether Eternals will have the same long theatrical legs as Marvel’s other recent hits.

Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ To Boost The Box Office

There have been many uncertainties at the box office since the pandemic began, but if there’s one thing that remains as true as ever, it is the box office dominance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). MCU films Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings are two of the three top grossing films of the year, and the other film in the top three is Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which is part of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe and has some tie-ins with the MCU. This weekend sees the release of Eternals, the newest property in the MCU, and it is set to give the box office a jolt after a few weeks of declining grosses.

‘Dune’ Holds Onto Top Spot In Sophomore Weekend As 007 Opens In China; ‘Soho’, ‘Antlers’ Fail To Scare Up Halloween Business In Debuts

Warner Bros.’ sci-fi tentpole Dune continued to spice up an otherwise bland Halloween weekend at the box office, pulling in $15.5 million in its sophomore frame and remaining the top movie in North America. Meanwhile, a pair of scary-movie debuts—Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho and the Guillermo del Toro-produced Antlers—failed to click with audiences despite a roll-out timed to coincide with the spookiest holiday of the year, landing disappointingly outside of the top five. In overseas news, the latest James Bond installment, No Time to Die, finally opened in China, albeit to softer-than-expected numbers due to a wave of COVID-related theater closures in the country.

‘Last Night in Soho’ & ‘Antlers’ Headline Horror-Filled Halloween Weekend

After a month of $40+ million openings, this Halloween weekend slows things down a bit as it serves up two original horror-ish films, Last Night in Soho from Focus and Antlers from Searchlight. The month of October currently has a cumulative gross of $545 million, and it is set to close out the month as the year’s best yet, topping July’s $582 million cume. This weekend looks quiet compared to the four weekends before it that featured big openings from Venom 2, No Time to Die, Halloween Kills, and Dune, and we’re looking at a repeat of last weekend with Dune at number one unless one of the newcomers can over-perform and give Dune a good scare.

Sci-Fi Epic ‘Dune’ Debut Spices Up Box Office With $40.1 Million First Place Finish

Warner Bros.’ big-budget sci-fi epic Dune spiced up the box office this weekend with a $40.1 million domestic debut. Topping predictions that had the star-studded spectacle opening in the $30-$35 million range, director Denis Villenueve’s eye-candy adventure easily snagged the top spot in North America (where it is also streaming on HBO Max) and continued to clean up overseas, where it has been playing for weeks. But with the movie’s hefty $165 million price tag, will Dune’s performance prove strong enough for the studio to green light its proposed sequel? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, Wes Anderson’s latest indie curio, The French Dispatch, got off to a hot start in the specialty market, where it earned the biggest per-screen average for any film—big or small—of 2021.

Sci-Fi Epic ‘Dune’ Arrives, Wes Anderson’s ‘The French Dispatch’ To Heat Up Specialty Box Office

The month of October has shown strong box office returns for franchises, with Venom: Let There Be Carnage, No Time To Die, and Halloween Kills all opening above $50 million and boasting numbers that would have been respectable even in a pre-pandemic marketplace. The domestic launch of Dune this weekend will test whether the same level of success can come to a new property, which is a riskier proposition even in the best of times.

‘Halloween Kills’ Slashes Its Way To The Top Spot With $50.4 Million Bow; Damon And Affleck’s ‘The Last Duel’ Is A Dud

With just two weeks to go before trick-or-treaters head out on their annual holiday rounds, the latest chapter in the Michael Myers horror cycle, Halloween Kills, slayed the competition with a bloody good $50.4 million debut. The bogeyman’s box-office bow was especially impressive considering that the film was also available via VOD on the Peacock streamer and was going up against such splashy competitors as James Bond, Venom, and the long-awaited reunion of Good Will Hunting’s Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, whose historical drama The Last Duel was dead on arrival with a woeful $4.8 million opening.

‘Halloween Kills’ To Slash The Competition; ‘The Last Duel’ To Duel It Out Against Holdovers

No Time To Die may not have broken records last weekend, but the overall weekend box office did: It was the first time since the pandemic began that we had two weekends in a row with a total gross exceeding $100 million, which until this month only two weekends had accomplished. This weekend we might see that happen for a third week in a row with the releases of Universal’s Halloween Kills, the latest entry in the long running slasher franchise, and 20th Century’s The Last Duel, the latest historical epic from Ridley Scott. While we saw some big grosses from individual films over the summer, we’re finally starting to see a steady slate of films that audiences are showing up for and solid numbers from the market as a whole.

Domestic Box Office Is Shaken But Not Stirred By James Bond’s $56 Million ‘No Time To Die’ Opening

No Time To Die, the 25th official chapter in the long-running 007 film franchise and Daniel Craig’s swan song as license-to-kill agent James Bond, spent the better part of the COVID pandemic gathering dust on MGM’s shelves waiting for the right moment to make its way to multiplexes. This weekend, that long wait finally ended. So, did those 18 months of delays and date changes pay off? It depends whether you see the martini glass as half full or half empty. With its $56 million opening weekend in North America, the action-packed tentpole fell well short of box-office soothsayers’ predictions, but it still marks one of the biggest debuts of 2021.

It Is--Finally-- ‘No Time To Die’ At The Box Office As James Bond Returns To The Big Screen

007 is back on the big screen this weekend after a six-year gap, returning just as the box office is heating up again. Can No Time To Die top Skyfall as the series’ top opener with $88.4 million? A week ago we would have said “No way,” but after Venom: Let There Be Carnage’s expectations-smashing $90 million debut last weekend, the game has changed. The general thinking through the summer was that the current slate of blockbuster sequels didn’t stand a chance of living up to their predecessors at the box office. Black Widow and F9: The Fast Saga were both smashes when you factor in the lowered expectations of the pandemic, but take away that variable and they look like box office disappointments compared to other films in their franchises. With Venom 2 beating out the original and becoming the year’s top opener, as well as leading what was the year’s top grossing weekend yet (which is due to be topped this weekend), the gloves have come off and the box office may finally be putting the pandemic behind it.

‘Venom 2’ Sinks Its Teeth Into $90 Million Domestic Debut, Shattering Pandemic-Era Record; Bond Soars Overseas While Sopranos Gets Whacked At Home

The first weekend in October usually kicks off the cozy sweater-and-pumpkin spice latte season. But this year, it also signaled the long overdue return of the sort of hand-over-fist blockbusters that dominated the multiplex before the arrival of COVID. Hard on the heels of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ record-setting September, Sony’s supervillain sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, shattered all previous pandemic-era benchmarks with a massive $90.1 million bow in North America, making the case that the Hollywood tentpole is finally back. Further evidence came from abroad, where the latest 007 outing, No Time to Die, bowed to $119 million ahead of its U.S. release next weekend. But it wasn’t all good news: While United Artists’ animated The Addams Family 2 scared up an $18 million domestic debut, Warner Bros.’ much-anticipated Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, got whacked on arrival, pulling in just $5 million as fans said “fuggedaboutit” to seeing their favorite mobsters on the big screen.

‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ Headlines Busy Weekend At The Box Office

September was month of extremes at the box office, with both the highest grossing film of the year and the lowest grossing weekend since May. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the first Marvel movie to open in September, and the gambit paid off, with the film crossing the gross of Black Widow to become the year’s number one movie, and it will soon overtake Bad Boys for Life to become the top grossing film since 2019. Other than Shang-Chi, though, the box office has been a total wasteland, with the next best opening weekend gross this month being Dear Evan Hansen’s meager $7.4 million. The dry spell is ending though, and after a rocky summer, the packed fall movie season is starting with a bang this weekend with Venom: Let There Be Carnage, The Many Saints of Newark, and The Addams Family 2, not to mention the international debut of No Time To Die.

‘Shang-Chi’ Keeps Rolling In Top Spot With $13.3 Million, Passing ‘Black Widow’ As The Top Hit Of 2021; ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Disappoints

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings continued to own the September box office this weekend, easily holding onto the top spot in North America for the fourth consecutive frame. The Disney superhero tentpole racked up another $13.3 million in North America, bringing its total domestic haul to $196.5 million, putting it ahead of its Marvel stablemate Black Widow as the highest-grossing film of 2021. Meanwhile, the weekend’s only major newcomer, Universal’s Dear Evan Hansen, hit a slightly sour note in its debut, pulling in a disappointing $7.5 million, which was still good enough for second place during what turned out to be a slow session.

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Opens On A Quiet Weekend

The current state of the box office can best be described as polarized. On one hand, last weekend was the lowest grossing weekend at the box office since June, and if it drops further this weekend it could be the lowest since May. On the other hand, we’re witnessing a dream run for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which opened better than expected and is now holding better than expected. It is on the cusp of passing its fellow Marvel blockbuster Black Widow as the year’s top grosser, and by the end of the weekend should be nearing $200 million. The overall market may be slumping, but individual films are still shining.

‘Shang-Chi’ Three-peats In First With $21.7 Million; Clint Eastwood’s ‘Cry Macho’ Disappoints

In its third week in theaters, Disney’s latest superhero tentpole, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, continued to dominate the North American box office. Pulling in $21.7 million over the otherwise sleepy September frame, Marvel’s most recent epic shows little sign of slowing down and it is well on its way to surpassing its MCU stablemate, Black Widow, to become the top theatrical grosser of the pandemic-plagued year as it rocketed past the $300 million mark in worldwide ticket sales. Meanwhile, the weekend’s most high-profile newcomer, Clint Eastwood’s Western drama Cry Macho, bowed quietly in third place with a pokey $4.5 million as the cinema legend’s legion of older fans opted to stay home and stream the film from their La-Z-Boys.
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