JUSTICE LEAGUE Clocks In Below Expectations On Way to Box Office Crown
Although DC Comics’ superhero mega franchise beat all the competition this weekend at the box office, its $96 million North American haul was not enough to avenge naysayers who viewed the film’s inability to crack $100 million as a disappointment. Justice League, which was panned by critics but received a B+ Cinemascore from audiences, was the lowest opener of the Warner superhero adventure, throwing below Wonder Woman’s $103 million opener earlier this year despite a strong beginning on Thursday night. The film did make $185.5 million worldwide this weekend from 65 territories, for nearly $300 million in its opening haul. I’m not quite sure that Warner executives are sulking at this, industry “experts” notwithstanding. Sure, it is not the outcome they may have hoped or that rival studio Marvel has been achieving, but audiences are still responding to these films. At least it’s not The Mummy.
Elsewhere in ticket sales, the Julia Roberts/Owen Wilson movie Wonder, about a young boy with certain unique facial features, surprised the industry with its $27 million estimated tally, good enough for second place this weekend. That pushed down Thor: Ragnarok to third, with nearly $22 million after a drop of over 60% (due no doubt to Justice League cannibalizing some of its audience). The Norse God made another $24.1 million abroad, which pushes its total globally to over $738 million, the night largest 2017 release to date. The film is ahead of both Guardians 2 and Doctor Strange at this point in their box office run.
Rounding out the top 5 were Paramount’s Daddy’s Home ($14.8 million after a 50% drop) and Murder on the Orient Express ($13 million after a 52% drop), both of which crossed $50 million in North America receipts this weekend.
In the limited release/awards space, two movies are doing very well. A24’s Greta Gerwig vehicle Lady Bird, adored by critics since Telluride, has brought in $2.5 million from 238 theaters, an eighth place finish this weekend. That puts its total at $4.7 million ahead of a Thanksgiving week expansion. And the winner at TIFF, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, and a strong contender for the Academy Awards later this season, made $1.1 million in just over 50 locations. This movie will also be expanding in short order. Meanwhile, Denzel Washington’s Roman J. Israel, Esq., pulled in about $65,000 from four theaters.