As expected, Avatar: The Way of Water finished in first place this weekend while increasing its worldwide take to over $2 billion.
Another weekend has come and gone. If you’re a Jacksonville Jaguars or New York Giants fan, maybe it wasn’t the best weekend for you (as a 49er fan, my weekend still looks bright!) If football isn’t your cup of tea, maybe you took the opportunity to watch a nice feature film at your local theater. Much to the surprise of no one, Avatar: The Way of Water has topped the charts for the sixth straight week with an estimated $19.6 million, bringing its domestic total to just under $600 million. At this time last year, Spider-Man: No Way Home grossed $14 million in its sixth week of release, which I’m only noticing since Avatar 2 officially took its place in sixth place on the All-Time Worldwide box office chart earlier this week. The film has officially surpassed $2 billion at the worldwide box office (and is only the sixth film ever to do so). It has just over $50 million to go before it can dethrone Avengers: Infinity War ($2.052 billion) to become a top five grosser of all time.
Climbing the charts to second place is the animated family hit Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, with an estimated $11.5 million after five weeks of release. This is pretty impressive for the Antonio Banderas-led film, which had a somewhat soft opening ($12.4 million). Strong word of mouth and lack of competition has allowed this film to thrive, especially given that it has been available on demand for a few weeks.
Third place belongs to the killer doll M3GAN, with another $9.8 million added to its impressive domestic haul, which currently sits at $73.2 million. These are solid numbers for a PG13 horror film in its third week of release. The good news is that you don’t have to wait long to see the story continue, which M3GAN 2.0 has already been scheduled to hit theaters on January 17, 2025.
In my original predictions on Thursday, I mentioned that we were going to see a couple of dogfights this weekend. Although I got the contestants wrong, I was right that the difference between fourth and fifth place this week is only $300,000 as the new release thriller Missing is reported to have pulled in $9.3 million in its opening weekend, while A man named Otto was able to grab $9 million in its fourth week of release (of course, only two of those weeks were in over three thousand theaters). Otto enjoys great word of mouth (I saw it the other day and thought it was pretty good, but it’s definitely more of a drama than a comedy, which doesn’t mean there aren’t scenes of genuine belly laughs!) In addition to the Earning $9 million over the weekend, the Tom Hanks-led film has seen some solid weekday numbers and should provide a healthy finish when all is said and done.
The good news for Missing is: that $9.3 million represents $2.3 million over its reported production budget of $7 million. Assuming the film can get some good word of mouth (with an audience score of 92%, it should have no problem doing so). In that case, Missing should be considered a profitable effort by the studio in no time (Yes, This Weekend made its production budget, but that doesn’t include marketing costs and other factors that require a film to make well over its budget to be considered profitable. )
Airplane and House party took a bit of a tumble in their second week, grossing $5.2 million and $1.7 million, respectively. For Plane, it represents a 49% loss from last weekend, while House Party lost 55% of its audience. While Plane has garnered decent reviews (including an 8/10 from our own Chris Bumbray), the film doesn’t seem to be generating the same strong response as other films in theaters. As for House Party, I think the theatrical release for this was 100% in favor of boosting its performance when it hits HBO Max in a few weeks. A push to the big screen gives the film more attention and press than if it had just been dumped on streaming, as was the original plan for this remake. You can look at this very article as proof of that. We’ve covered the film two weeks in a row in our Box Office Coverage, but had it just been dumped on streaming, we had no reason to include it.
In eighth place comes Crunchyroll Studios’ release Then I was reincarnated as a Slime The movie: Scarlet Bond, with an estimated $1.4 million on just under 1500 screens. This certainly isn’t the juggernaut that other recent Crunchyroll Studios films have been (including the $20 million debut of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero back in August and the $9.4 million close of November’s One Piece Film: Red.) I’m not the biggest Anime fan. , so I don’t know where the fandom is in each property, but a top-ten ranking for a lesser-known property is nothing to turn your nose up at.
The final two spots of the top ten belong to a pair of Oscar front-runners, with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever adding $1.3 million to its box office haul as the legendary Angela Bassett officially moved into front-runner status in the Supporting Actress category (no kidding to toot my own horn, but I called it when the film was originally released:
Angela Bassett deserves some recognition for her role in this film. There’s a scene in this movie where, if you strip away all the “superhero-ness” of the movie and just see it as a mother in grief, it’s one of the most powerful scenes I’ve seen in any Marvel movie ( with perhaps the only exception being the funeral scene from Final game). With only one Oscar nomination under his belt for What does love have to do with itI think it’s time to give this immense talent her due and bring her into the awards conversation for her sensational portrayal of the grieving Queen Ramonda.
If she wins, I won’t take full credit, but maybe a shout out in her acceptance speech would be nice!
Tenth place belongs to Brendan Fraser and his fantastic performance in The whale with a $1.2 million weekend. If you haven’t seen The whale Still, do yourself a favor and check it out, not only for Fraser’s truly remarkable performance, but also for a huge boost from Hong Chau, who I hope is one of the five names mentioned for Supporting Actor in Tuesday’s Oscar nominations.
Did you hit the movies this weekend, or were the NFL Divisional championship games all you needed? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to check out our poll where we ask: What is your favorite Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner.