The week after Thanksgiving — like Labor Day weekend and the week after Christmas — is typically a time when the studios don’t bother releasing worthwhile movies. Studios flood the box-office with blockbuster films during the lead-up to Thanksgiving so holdovers generally extend their muscle through the first week of December and beyond. That was no exception this year, as holdovers dominated the first six slots. However, beyond that, arthouse fare that had been enjoying limited-release runs expanded this weekend to fill the void.
Not that there was much of a void. In fact, this weekend is on track to perform more than 10 percent better than the same weekend last year, even though Coco is slightly behind where Moana was in 2016. Coco earned $500,000 less this weekend than Moana did in its second weekend, and after 12 days at the box office, Coco has earned $110 million and should continue to have a stranglehold on the kids demo until Ferdinand arrives along with Star Wars: The Last Jedi on December 15th. Coco is a superb film, and while it’s not quite as good as Moana, that’s only because Moana is one of the best animated features of the decade. Actually, so is Coco.
Second place this weekend goes to Justice League, which is slightly outperforming its time-slot competitor, so to speak, from 2016, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Justice League earned $15.8 million in its third weekend to bring its overall total to $197 million, which is not great. It’s got one more weekend to eke out a few million dollars before Star Wars comes along and eradicates it from the box office. Granted, it’s tracking ahead of Fantastic Beast, which ended with $235 million, but the expected $250 million for Justice League is more disappointing because Justice League’s international numbers are not nearly as good. Fantastic Beasts earned $580 million overseas while Justice League is sitting at $311 million. At this point, Wonder Woman’s $412 million is going to dwarf the box office of Justice League, which must mean that not even all of the Wonder Woman fans are willing to pay to see her in an ensemble film. Maybe they should have called it Wonder Woman and the Justice League.