- With Hollywood studios bracing for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” opening next weekend, independent films are benefiting at the box office.
- “I, Tonya” had an impressive opening weekend.
- Movies like “The Disaster Artist” and “Lady Bird” continue to perform well as they expand to more theatres.
Another week passes, and it’s another one where “Coco” tops the domestic box office.
With its estimated $US19 million take over the weekend, according to The Wrap, that makes three straight weekends the latest Disney/Pixar title has been No. 1.
The film’s road to dominance was easier than it might have been. That’s because all the other studios are taking a breath until another Disney title, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” comes in and takes the torch from “Coco” and dominates the box office (most likely for the rest of 2017).
As the studios see it, why release one of their big titles these past two weekends and spend millions on marketing when it’s likely to suffer the buzz saw that is a new “Star Wars” movie? That’s allowed independent movies to sneak in and attract audiences.
It’s a perfect time as many are hoping to get recognition on Monday morning when Golden Globes nominations are announced, which will only lead to more interest in the weeks to come.
Neon/30WEST’s “I, Tonya,” an unconventionally told biopic focused on the life of the infamous figure skater Tonya Harding, opened on four screens this weekend and scored an impressive $US245,000. That’s a $US61,000-a-screen average.
With the movie’s star Tonya Harding likely to get a Golden Globe nomination (and maybe even an Oscar), Neon/30WEST has a title that more and more audiences will check out as the film expands its release in the weeks to come.
Same with Fox Searchlight’s “The Shape of Water.” Guillermo del Toro’s unique love story was on 41 screens this weekend and earned $US1.1 million (a $US26,000-a-screen average). It was only on two screens last weekend.
And A24 had two titles crack the top 10 this weekend. “The Disaster Artist” went from 19 screens last weekend to 840(!) this weekend, and it proved to be the right move.
James Franco’s funny and touching behind-the-scenes look at the making of “The Room,” regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, took in $US6.4 million to take fourth place.
And Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” came in ninth place with $US3.5 million ($US22 million lifetime total) and continues to be one of the feel-good titles of the holiday season. The movie is now in more than 1,500 theatres. This is another title that will only see its box-office numbers increase with likely Golden Globes and other major award nominations to follow.
Studio titles took home second and third place this weekend, with “Justice League” and “Wonder,” respectively. “Justice League” took in $US9.6 million, putting its domestic total to $US212 million. “Wonder” continues to be the little engine that could, earning $US8.5 million to put its total over $US100 million.
Hollywood is desperate for a home run at the box office, and that will come next weekend with the release of “The Last Jedi.”
The only question is: How high will that opening number be?
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