×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Doctor Strange’ to Ward Off Newcomers ‘Arrival’ and ‘Almost Christmas’

Marvel-Disney’s “Doctor Strange” will again dominate the post-election box office with at least $40 million, easily topping openings by Paramount’s sci-fi film “Arrival” and Universal’s comedy “Almost Christmas.”

The new titles are expected to battle for third place with as much as $15 million each while EuropaCorp’s Naomi Watts thriller “Shut In” is pegged for an opening of about $7 million. DreamWorks Animation’s second weekend of “Trolls” should come in second with about $20 million.

Doctor Strange” opened above expectations last weekend in the U.S. with $85 million, then added on $6.2 million on Monday and $7.7 million on Tuesday. The Benedict Cumberbatch vehicle has also performed impressively internationally with more than $240 million in two weeks.

Trolls,” handled by Fox, generated a solid opening weekend with $46.6 million domestically and tacked on $2.5 million on Monday. The cartoon comedy has gone past $100 million internationally after a mid-October launch.

Alien-arrival saga “Arrival,” directed by Denis Villenueve (“Sicario”) and starring Amy Adams as a linguistics expert, will be playing at approximately 2,200 locations. Paramount is forecasting a launch in the low-to-mid teens — comparable to last fall’s $15 million opening of Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” which wound up with $72 million by the end of its run.

Paramount acquired U.S., Canadian and Chinese distribution rights for “Arrival” at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The film was financed by FilmNation Entertainment and Lava Bear Films, and carries a $47 million budget.

Critics have given “Arrival” strong reviews and its Rotten Tomato score is currently 98%.

Universal will release “Almost Christmas” in approximately 2,372 theaters in North America. David E. Talbert directs from his own script about a beloved patriarch who asks his family for a holiday season gift — to get along and spend five days under the same roof without killing one another.

The cast includes Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps, Danny Glover, Romany Malco, Mo’Nique, Nicole Ari Parker, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Jessie Usher and DC Young Fly. “Almost Christmas” is tracking strongest with African American audiences, specifically among females, with the studio aiming for strong playability through the holiday season. The film was made for a budget of $17 million.

Will Packer, whose resume includes the “Think Like a Man” and “Ride Along” franchises, is producing. The studio’s marketing campaign has featured a special episode on “Family Feud” hosted by Steve Harvey and events at the American Black Film Festival and Essence Festival.

“Shut In” stars Naomi Watts as a psychologist trying to save a child — played by “Room” star Jacob Tremblay — during a New England snowstorm. It’s opening 2,050 locations.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, said that the weekend should see multiplexes generating solid business as customers look to put the election behind them. The lagging fall box office as of Monday had hit $1.33 billion, off 5% from the same period last year, according to comScore.

“In the post-election period, the allure of the movies becomes even more pronounced as the need for escapist, immersive entertainment will likely manifest itself in a movie theater version of post-trauma therapy,” he said.

“This weekend’s crop of movies led by the box office hit ‘Doctor Strange’ will benefit from audiences looking to find solace in movies as diverse as ‘Trolls’ and ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ as well as newcomers ‘Almost Christmas,’ ‘Arrival’ and ‘Shut In,’ which should power strong results in this first weekend after the election and benefit upcoming films this holiday season.”

More Film

  • Vice Christian Bale Sam Rockwell Playback

    Berlin Adds 'Vice,' New Films by Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine to Official Lineup

    Five new titles, including the latest films from Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine, have joined the competition program at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. Adam McKay’s “Vice” will screen out of competition, as will Alan Elliott’s documentary “Amazing Grace.” “Vice” has already won a Golden Globe for star Christian Bale’s portrayal of former U.S. Vice President [...]

  • Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to

    Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to Berlin Market Lineup (EXCLUSIVE)

    Picture Tree Intl. has added German romantic comedy “Cold Feet” (Kalte Füsse) to its market lineup at the Berlin Film Festival, where the sales agent will screen the film as a market premiere. Sony Pictures released the pic, directed Wolfgang Groos, in Germany on Thursday, and it garnered 100,000 admissions over its opening weekend. “Cold [...]

  • Neil Burger

    'Upside' Director Neil Burger Sets Sci-Fi 'Voyagers' as Next Project

    “The Upside” director Neil Burger is set to direct sci-fi thriller “Voyagers” as his next project. The film will be fully financed and co-produced by Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, and produced by Burger’s Nota Bene Productions and Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Films. AGC also handles international sales on the new film. Written and directed by [...]

  • Berlin: M-Appeal Acquires Panorama Title ‘Greta’

    M-Appeal Acquires Berlin Panorama Title ‘Greta’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    M-Appeal has acquired world sales rights to “Greta,” the feature debut of Brazil’s Armando Praça which will world premiere in this year’s Berlinale Panorama section. The Berlin-based film industry has also dropped an international trailer, to which Variety has had exclusive access. Produced by Carnaval Filmes, whose credit include major titles by Marcelo Gomes, one [...]

  • Kew Media Boards Michael Jackson Documentary

    Kew Media Boards Michael Jackson Documentary 'Leaving Neverland' for International

    Kew Media Distribution has boarded controversial Michael Jackson sex-abuse documentary “Leaving Neverland” ahead of its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Kew Media has taken international distribution rights (excluding U.K. and U.S.) to the two-part documentary, which is a co-production of HBO and British broadcaster Channel 4. Directed by BAFTA-winner Dan Reed, “Leaving [...]

  • Nordic Film Market: New Pálmason, Hákonarson,

    Nordic Film Market Selects Latest Palmason, Hakonarson, Hafstrom, Ganslandt

    The 20th Nordic Film Market in Göteborg, unspooling Jan. 31-Feb 3, will showcase 16 works in progress including Hlynur Pálmason’s “A White, White Day”, Grímur Hákonarson’s “The County”, Mikael Håfström’s “The Perfect Patient” and Jesper Ganslandt’s “438 Days.” Iceland is well represented this year with top directors and festival darlings Pálmason (“Winter Brothers”), Hákonarson (“Rams”) [...]

  • 'All These Small Moments' Review

    Film Review: 'All These Small Moments'

    The magic of writer-director Melissa B. Miller Costanzo’s “All These Small Moments” can be found within the intimacy of the scenarios, the authenticity of her earnest characterizations, and the accessibility of the actors’ honest performances. In her deftly polished directorial debut, Costanzo dovetails the primary story about a teen’s coming of age with a secondary [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content