There was a sense of déjà vu at the weekend box office, with the top three movies remaining the same from last week as Hollywood settles into a holding pattern awaiting the arrival of Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.
Disney and Pixar’s animated feature Coco was the weekend’s top movie for the third straight week, topping Warner Bros. Pictures’ underperforming superhero team-up film Justice League once again. Coco follows in the footsteps of last year’s animated feature Moana — another Disney movie — which won the weekend box office every week following its Thanksgiving debut, right up until the premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The entire top ten wasn’t a holdover from last week, though, as a few new films appeared among the weekend’s highest-grossing movies.
Coming in fourth over the weekend was James Franco’s The Disaster Artist — a comedy chronicling the creation of one of Hollywood’s most infamously terrible movies, The Room. After an impressive premiere in just 19 theaters last week that raked in more than $63,000 per theater, the film expanded to 840 theaters this week and cracked the weekend’s top five films with $6.4 million, giving it a still-impressive $7,661 per theater in its second week.
Given the warm welcome The Disaster Artist has received from critics and audiences, the film is poised for a strong run in theaters now that it’s going wide.
The only new release to make it into the weekend’s top ten films was the comedy Just Getting Started, which only managed a meager $3.1 million from its debut in more than 2,100 theaters. Combined with its “C” grade on audience polling site CinemaScore and a painfully bad 9-percent positive review rating on RottenTomatoes, the film is likely to disappear from theaters before anyone even knows it’s there.
Although it didn’t make it into the weekend’s top ten films, Margot Robbie’s biopic of disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding, I, Tonya, premiered in just four theaters but earned $245,602 from its limited release. The film’s per-theater average of $61,401 and the Oscar buzz it’s already receiving certainly bodes well for its wider theatrical run in the weeks to come.
The upcoming weekend’s biggest movie is a foregone, with The Last Jedi hitting theaters with a high likelihood of setting a host of box-office records. The latest installment of what is arguably the biggest movie franchise of all time, The Last Jedi is the direct sequel to 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, the highest-grossing movie of all time in U.S. theaters and the third highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide.
The only other noteworthy film arriving in theaters is the animated feature Ferdinand, which could carve out a nice debut as the next major, family-friendly animated film to kick off its theatrical run after Coco.