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Box Office: ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ Narrowly Defeats ‘Grinch’ in Sleepy Pre-Holiday Weekend

Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” topped a quiet weekend at the domestic box office, marking the third straight win for the animated sequel. It earned $16.2 million in its third week of release, generating $140 million since it opened over Thanksgiving.

Another cartooned adventure almost gave “Ralph” a run for its money. Illumination and Universal’s “The Grinch” pocketed $15.2 million in its fifth outing, marking a decline of just 15%. Based on the Dr. Seuss classic holiday tale, “The Grinch” has made $223.5 million in North America and $322.4 million globally.

A series of holdovers rounded out the top five as studios largely sat out the pre-holiday frame. Moviegoing will get a boost next weekend when “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “The Mule,” and “Mortal Engines” hit theaters. That will kick off a competitive Christmas race as “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Aquaman,” and “Bumblebee” enter the fray the following weekend. “Aquaman” got a head start overseas, launching in China this weekend with a massive $93.6 million.

With no new wide releases, a number of awards hopefuls got their start at the indie box office. Focus Features’ “Mary Queen of Scots” brought in $200,000 when it debuted in four theaters. That’s the best screen average of the weekend with $50,000 per location. Saoirse Ronan plays the eponymous royal and Margot Robbie portrays Queen Elizabeth I in the costume drama. Focus is expanding the film to 70 theaters next weekend.

“Our first-time film director Josie Rourke took a fresh take on this incredible drama of these two queens and made it resonate with audiences in a powerful way paralleling so much of what is still going on today for women,” said Lisa Bunnell, Focus Features’ president of distribution.

Roadside Attractions’ “Ben Is Back” opened on four screens, picking up $80,972 for an average of $20,243 per location. The drama follows a mother (Julia Roberts) who attempts to help her addict son (Lucas Hedges) after he returns home from rehab. Hedges’ father, Peter Hedges, directed the movie.

Meanwhile, Neon’s “Vox Lux” starring Natalie Portman as a pop star with a traumatic past launched in six locations. It earned $162,252 for a theater average of $27,042.

Creed II” landed in third place with $10.3 million in its third outing. Its domestic total now sits at $96.4 million. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” nabbed fourth, bringing in another $6.8 million this weekend. That takes its North American tally to $145 million.

Rounding out the top five is “Bohemian Rhapsody,” drumming up $6 million for a Stateside haul of $173.6 million. The Queen biopic continues to draw in strong numbers overseas, where it has made $423 million. It’s made a sizable $596.5 million globally.

Fox Searchlight’s Oscar-bait film “The Favourite” is expanding nicely, amassing $1.4 million when it played in 91 locations. When it opened during Thanksgiving, Yorgos Lanthimos’ 18th century drama starring Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman scored the best screen average ($105,500) in two years. It has since made $3.5 million.

Elsewhere at multiplexes, Universal’s re-release of “Schindler’s List” made just $551,000 when it played in over 1,100 venues. Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece will run for a one-week engagement in honor of the film’s 25th anniversary. When it launched in 1993, “Schindler’s List” earned a massive $320 million at the worldwide box office and picked up seven Oscars, including best picture and best director for Spielberg. It tells the true story of German businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who saved the lives of over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust.

This weekend came in 3.3% ahead of the same frame in 2017, when “Coco” was the No. 1 movie in North America. The domestic box office looks to hit $11 billion in revenue in record time as it currently paces 9.9% ahead of last year, according to Comscore.

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