By Dave McNary
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Disney-Pixar’s animated comedy “Coco” easily repeated as the winner of the North American box office with a solid $26.1 million at 3,987 locations during a moderate weekend.
The third weekend of Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment’s “Justice League” finished second with $16.7 million at 3,820 sites, with the superhero tentpole dropping 60%.
Lionsgate’s “Wonder” continued to perform well with $12.5 million at 3,449 venues to come in third followed by Disney-Marvel’s fifth frame of “Thor: Ragnarok” with $9.7 million at 3,148 sites, the fourth weekend of Paramount’s “Daddy’s Home 2” with $7 million at 3,403 venues and Fox’s fourth weekend of “Murder on the Orient Express” with $6.7 million at 3,201 screens.
Awards contenders “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” tied for seventh place with $4.5 million each. A24’s “Lady Bird” expanded by 403 sites to 1,194 and Fox Searchlight’s “Three Billboards” doubled its run to 1,430 screens.
The major studios opted to rely on holdovers during the session and held off on any wide openings. A24 generated strong performance from its limited launch of James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist” with $1.2 million at 19 locations for a $64,254 per screen average. Fox Searchlight’s “The Shape of Water” saw an impressive $166,800 at two theaters and Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” debuted with a solid $140,555 at five sites through Amazon.
Sony Classics’ second weekend of “Call Me By Your Name” posted a stellar $281,280 at four screens for a 10-day total of $908,175. It won best feature at the Gotham Independent Film Awards on Nov. 27.
“Coco” has now taken in $108.7 million in its first 12 days following a 47% decline from its opening. The film, based on the traditions surrounding the Day of the Dead holiday in Mexico, centers on a 12-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a musician. The film has been embraced by critics with a 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Disney’s “Moana” performed slightly better during the same period last year with $119.8 million after 12 days.
The studio has not released a price for “Coco.” Disney-Pixar titles are usually budgeted in the $175 million to $200 million range.
“Justice League” has finished its first 17 days with $197.3 million domestically. The movie, which teams up the DC characters in the same manner as Disney-Marvel’s superheroes, is the 10th highest-grossing title released in 2017. It’s been the lowest performer among the five films in the DC Extended Universe, with “Wonder Woman” grossing $275.1 million in its first 17 days in June and “Suicide Squad” taking in $262.4 million in its first 17 days last year.
Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman along with Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as the Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg as the superheroes team up to save the world. Warner Bros. has not disclosed the production cost, which is believed to be as much as $300 million.
“Justice League” also grossed $35.7 million on approximately 20,375 screens in 66 international markets, bringing the overseas total to $370.1 million and the global total $567.4 million.
Overall domestic moviegoing totaled $104 million, up $8 million from the same frame in 2016 and the biggest post-Thanksgiving weekend in five years, according to comScore.
“The biggest post-thanksgiving weekend since 2012 proves that there was no need for a wide release newcomer to drive large numbers of moviegoers to the multiplex that is already chock full of appealing titles from both the blockbuster side of the ledger and awards season favorites,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore.
Year-to-date domestic box office is down 3.9% to $9.86 billion as of Sunday, according to comScore. Even with a blockbuster performance by Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which opens Dec. 15, the final 2017 box office number is likely to finish at least 2% down at the end of the year.