'Coco' dominates a quiet weekend at the box office

  • “Coco” wins the domestic box office for a second-straight weekend with $US26 million.
  • A24 is capitalising on the pre-“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” weekends by releasing award season contenders “Lady Bird” and “The Disaster Artist.”

Disney/Pixar’s “Coco” has followed up its Thanksgiving weekend dominance at the domestic box office with a repeat win.

The heartwarming tale of a boy’s journey to the Land of the Dead took in an estimated $US26 million its second weekend, according to Exhibitor Relations, easily beating “Justice League” once again. The Warner Bros./DC Comics movie is taking a nose-dive, dropping 60% from last weekend and only taking in $US16.5 million.

But for the real highlights from this weekend you have to look beyond the top two performers.

The Julia Roberts drama “Wonder” continues to be the surprise success story of the season as it came in third place with $US12.5 million. That gives the movie a domestic total of $US88 million, a figure most in Hollywood didn’t think the film would come close to after three weeks in theatres (its budget was $US20 million).

The trick has been the flood to theatres with students at the matinee showings. Lionsgate really pushed the idea of teachers taking their kids to the movie for a field trip to highlight its anti-bullying message. It’s paid off big time for Lionsgate.

Then there’s the run distributor A24 is on. The company behind the best picture Oscar win for “Moonlight” is looking to take advantage of these few weeks before “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” opens. A24’s releases “Lady Bird” and “The Disaster Artist” are hot tickets at arthouse theatres.

Lady Bird A24A24‘Lady Bird.’

In its fifth week in theatres, the coming-of-age drama “Lady Bird” is now playing in over 1,000 screens and is using the long tail word of mouth approach – and news that the movie is now the best reviewed title of all time on Rotten Tomatoes – to build up a total domestic gross to date of $US17 million (the movie was made for close to $US10 million).

The movie’s Oscar hopes will only increase its box office as the company slowly continues to expand the movie to other cities through the end of the year.

Then there’s “The Disaster Artist”, a very different movie from “Lady Bird”, but A24 will use a similar model for its release. The retelling of Tommy Wiseau’s stranger-than-fiction journey to make, “The Room,” considered one of the worst movies ever made, stars James Franco who is also the director.

Opening on only 19 theatres this weekend (“Lady Bird” started its run on just four screens), the movie took in $US1.2 million – that’s $US64,254 per screen. This is another title that will only increase in popularity as the weeks go on.

But when “The Last Jedi” opens, it might be game over in regards to any other wide release making big numbers for the rest of the year. When the latest “Star Wars” movie opens December 15, it won’t just earn a lot of coin, but could cement Disney’s dominance at the box office for the rest of 2017.

It’s possible a Disney title will be the winner of the domestic box office from last weekend until the final weekend of December. It would be a combination of “Coco” wins up until “The Last Jedi” opens and then dominance by the space saga the rest of the year.

That would be six-straight weekends of Disney titles taking the No. 1 spot.

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