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‘Ralph Breaks the Internet,’ ‘The Grinch’ Vie for Box Office Crown in Quiet Weekend

Animated family flicks are proving their worth ahead of the upcoming holiday rush, with “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” both making claims on the top spot with an estimated $15 million each.

Current estimates show Disney’s “Ralph” ahead by roughly $600,000. If estimates hold, it will mark the film’s third consecutive weekend at the top. The family feature, now in its third weekend, has totaled $128 million domestically with another $87 million overseas, while Universal’s “The Grinch,” currently in its fifth frame, has taken in $275 million worldwide.

Meanwhile, the third frame of MGM-New Line’s “Creed II” should slot into third with about $9 million while the two animated flicks battle it out. The Michael B. Jordan-starrer has taken in $88 million domestically and $15 million in international markets.

The fourth weekend of “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” and “Bohemian Rhapsody’s” sixth frame are both looking to earn another $6 million this weekend, bringing their domestic cumes to about $146 million and $173.5 million, respectively. Fox’s Freddie Mercury biopic picked up two Golden Globe nominations Thursday, for best drama and best actor in a motion picture for Rami Malek.

With no new wide release films this weekend, the specialty box office is debuting four pics, including “Ben Is Back” and “Mary Queen of Scots” at four theaters, “Swimming With Men” at 34 locations, and “Vox Lux” at six sites.

Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate’s “Ben Is Back” stars Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges as a mother and son dealing with the aftermath of Hedges’ character’s stint in rehab. Peter Hedges directed from his own script. The drama holds a 86% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie star in Focus Features’ 16th century biopic as the titular queen and her cousin Queen Elizabeth I, respectively. Josie Rourke directed the historical drama from a script by “House of Cards'” Beau Willimon. “Mary” has divided critics, and holds a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Natalie Portman plays a pop star with a troubled past in Neon’s awards contender “Vox Lux.” Brady Corbet wrote and directed the film, which features a vocal performance by Portman and has scored an early RT rating of 66%.

IFC Films’ comedy “Swimming With Men” features Rob Brydon as an accountant who, in an attempt to win back his wife (Jane Horrocks), joins a male synchronized swimming team. Rupert Graves, Adeel Akhtar, Jim Carter, Thomas Turgoose, Daniel Mays and Charlotte Riley also star, with Oliver Parker directing from a screenplay by Aschlin Ditta. The film is sitting at a 42% on Rotten Tomatoes, though the Audience Score is somewhat higher at 67%.

The box office should see a surge again next weekend with the launches of “Spider-Verse: Into the Spider-Verse,” “The Mule,” and “Mortal Engines.” Disney opens “Mary Poppins Returns” on Dec. 19 and “Aquaman” and “Bumblebee” are debuting two days later.

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