The Office Christmas Party is well-attended, La La Land makes Lo Lo Lots of Money, expansions subjugate the chart, and Other Box Office News.
You hear that? It’s the sound of an absolutely unstoppable box office juggernaut looming over the horizon, announcing its imminent arrival with some kind of imperial march blasting out of speakers the size of Mount Olympus, ready to crush everything in its wake with such a totalitarian force that not even the younglings will survive its onslaught. That, however, is not until next week, yet every single movie studio decided to not utilise the two weeks separating the Disney double-whammys by releasing any films of note, so the whole place has been kind of dead, as a result.
Therefore, unsurprisingly, your Box Office winner this week was, once again, Disney’s Moana, threepeating at the top with $18.8 million, and continuing to drop a lot faster than expected. I’m sure Disney are quaking in their boots over this fact and not at all completely nonplussed due to having an ace-in-the-hole next week. Mind you, it was a lot closer than anticipated, as Paramount’s Office Christmas Party – the latest American comedy to fling a bunch of funny people into an unstructured scenario and hoping that a script will just magically will itself into existence, but whose unique selling point is “what if we threw ALL the funny people into that unstructured scenario?” – overperformed the studio’s modest expectations, and who can blame them for keeping their expectations modest given the year that they’ve had, finishing at $17.5 million for second place. I mean, it’s not going to hold or make it to a final total of note, or anything, but at least it’s a win of some description for Paramount this year!
Other than that, it was instead the week where a whole bunch of Oscar hopefuls decided that their little patches of land were somehow just not big enough for themselves, and so they decided to go ahead and colonise other territories of an unnatural inclination to their typical habitats. This went better for some than it did for others. Finally deciding to go Nationwide, and with a hilariously misleading and just plain wrong TV spot to boot, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals continued to “meh” up everything in sight with an unspectacular $3.2 million for seventh place. Snapping at its heels and doing far better despite being in about a quarter of the screens is Manchester by the Sea, which goes properly Nationwide next week, in eighth place and $50,000 behind the film in front of it. Jackie added another 21 theatres for a very strong $495,000 from 26 screens for a $19,038 per-screen average, whilst Lion reached 15 theatres, booked $171,909, and succeeded in making Kyle Turner very angry indeed. They can’t all be winners, though, and the short straw this time went to Miss Sloane which straight up bombed in its expansion, taking just $1.9 million and failing to break into the chart. [Insert gender-based joke against sexist patriarchal society here.]
Of course, however, the real story this weekend came from The Limited Release. You know the one. The one that everybody with even a modicum of love for film has been anticipating all year long, is already practically guaranteed to sweep this coming February’s Oscars, and whose excessive backlash should be ready to occur around about… now. I am, of course, referring to Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, an old-fashioned Hollywood musical, set in Los Angeles, starring professional movie star dreamboats Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, with original numbers rather than covers and GET THIS MOVIE INTO MY VEINS ALREADY PLEASE SWEET JESUS! As it prepares its slow march towards a Nationwide release on Christmas Day, the film got started in those 5 theatres that I don’t even need to geographically specify because you already know exactly where I’m talking about, and it proceeded to tear the roof off the suckas. $855,000 total, for a per-screen average of $171,000 makes that the 10th best opening weekend average of all time, behind the only two other live-action films in that chart – The Grand Budapest Hotel and, for some ungodly reason, Red State. Yeah, think it’s safe to predict that this one is gonna be a hit.
This Full List is your boss, not your work colleague, and you shall treat it as such despite being at this party.
US Box Office Results: Friday 9th December 2016 – Sunday 11th December 2016
$18,842,000 / $145,008,593
Oh, hey! Frozen made its American Network Television debut last night, because that’s certainly not going to make people look even more harshly at the general non-descriptness of Moana’s songs or anything! I know that none of us expected Zootopia to take off as well as it did – in terms of both quality and long-lasting money-raking – but I still feel bad for Moana right about now. Dammit, it is a good film, and I will get around to going back for seconds at some point, but it just had such a misfortunate choice of release date! If it followed the Wreck-It Ralph sequel that really is coming and that I am unbearably nervous about, then maybe it would have gotten the fair shake from me that it deserves. That, or Wreck-It Ralph 2 could turn out to be amazing and Moana would just be stuck in this situation again.
2] Office Christmas Party
$17,500,000 / NEW
Got a review of this coming tomorrow, but yeah, it’s just sort of OK. I didn’t hate it like I have so many other comedies over the last two, possibly even three, years – because this genre is in such a malaise-filled rut, at the moment – but it is an absolute wasting of a murderer’s row of comic talent who deserve a script to fool around with. You remember scripts? They’re these big batches of pages with words typed onto them that provide structure and themes and characters and actual goddamn jokes to go along with your actors and premise, and they’ve been missing presumed dead from comedy films for a good while now.
3] Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
$10,785,000 / $199,310,903
As promised, here’s a link to that piece I did on why I subject myself to films like Fantastic Beasts despite my clearly going to hate them. It’s been a busy week here on the site, so you may have forgotten or just not seen it, so there’s a nice little bump to remind/notify you, in any case.
$5,600,000 / $81,451,708
FINALLY got to do my threepeat of Arrival this weekend and I honestly don’t know what I did to deserve a film like this. It just gets better and better with every single viewing, which is a pain in the arse since I’m beginning to draft up my Top 20 list and it’s screwing up what I thought for sure was going to be a bulletproof Top 3. As problems go, it’s not a bad one to have.
5] Doctor Strange
$4,631,000 / $222,362,446
I have not actually watched the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer yet. I should probably do that. Back in a sec.
(2 minutes 20 seconds later.)
Yep, I am all-in on that!
$4,000,000 / $35,633,452
You’ll all catch this on TV one night in a year or so’s time and go, “That was perfectly enjoyable. Might have been worth watching in the cinema, but I’m not torn up over having missed it.” And I’ll be there to nod my head in approval because gloating is reserved for when films like The Edge of Seventeen bomb. HA! Didn’t think I was gonna bring it up, did you? Well I got it in there, and I am still angry at you, Indiscriminate Internet Reader, for having skipped it!
7] Nocturnal Animals
$3,193,685 / $6,219,813
Speaking of Kyle Turner, he and I actually agree on this film and it’s freaking us out. Seriously, we’re pretty sure that it’s a signifier of the End of Days, since we rarely agree and I especially expected to disagree with him on this given his crush on Tom Ford.
8] Manchester by the Sea
$3,155,330 / $8,325,531
Ah, is it that time of year already? Where all of the big new films that break through into the list are stuff that I can’t see for at least another month and a half, leading to me having to come up with random nonsense to babble about in these boxes rather than saying anything constructive cos it’s hard to snark about Awards Season movies I hear are actually good? Love it. My favourite time of year.
$3,110,000 / $145,490,004
Well, it’s time to say farewell to Trolls, a film that’s probably going to end up on my Bottom Films of 2016 list despite not being the worst animated film of the year by any stretch of the definition. Unless, of course, I choose to sit and watch Norm of the North again now that it’s on Netflix to make absolutely certain that I didn’t fever-dream that film with my friend Ben, and to make me hate myself even more than I already do. We’ll see how much time I have and try to pencil that in.
10] Hacksaw Ridge
$2,300,000 / $60,862,448
And not a moment too soon, either, thank Christ. I only have a finite resource of barely-related topics I can squeeze into these things, and I need those reserves for that inbound Awards Season deluge I referred to a short while back! I can’t be wasting them on Mel Gibson! I can’t be wasting any oxygen on Mel Gibson at all, come to think of it. Oxygen, too, is a finite resource!
Dropped Out: Bad Santa 2, Incarnate, Almost Christmas