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411 Box Office Report: Ralph Breaks the Internet Roars to #1 Start

November 25, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Ralph Breaks the Internet

Ralph didn’t just break the internet this weekend; he broke the bank. Ralph Breaks the Internet topped the box office with $55.7 million and $84.5 million over five days. The number is moderately above industry expectations, which had the film pegged at up to $50 million for the three-day weekend and $70 million for the five-day take. It’s another big success for Disney and comparable to the $56.6 million three-day start for Moana for Thanksgiving weekend 2016.

Ralph was always expected to be a big hit for the studio. Wreck-It Ralph was a big winner for the studio in 2012 and hasn’t lost any of its luster over the last few years. In fact, anticipation for a sequel has remained strong. Disney effectively teased that out in the months building up to this weekend and delivered a marketing campaign that highlighted the same irreverent tone to classic properties that the original had. That was enough for audiences to look forward to the film, and the reception drove things home. Critics have been high on the film, with an 86% average on Rotten Tomatoes that matches the first film’s 87%. The audience reaction was also strong at an A- CinemaScore.

Those should help drive strong holds as Ralph looks to carry through the holiday season. It’s off to a good start, having held well throughout the weekend. The film is also scoring overseas where it ranked up $41.5 million in eighteen markets, making for a worldwide start of $126 million. Without any family competition until Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse on December 14th, the movie is looking likely to make it above $200 million domestically by the end of its run. It will be a hit for Disney against its $175 million budget with foreign grosses counted in.

While Ralph claimed the top spot at the box office, Creed II was no slouch. The sequel to the Rocky revival nailed down $35.3 million over the three-day weekend and $55.8 million for the five-day take. That’s nicely above the $29.6 million/$42.1 million that the first film did over Thanksgiving weekend in 2015, and falls about on the high end of expectations going into the weekend. Much like Ralph Breaks the Internet, it’s a strong result for a sequel to a well-regarded initial film and gives Warner Bros. plenty to be pleased with today.

For Creed II, the studio had a good idea that they put to strong use in the marketing. Making the film both a sequel to Creed and to Rocky IV allowed promotional material to focus on the iconic rivalrly between Rocky and Ivan Drago, which drew strong interest from fans of the 1985 film. (It doesn’t hurt that Rocky IV is the highest domestic grosser in franchise history.) The 82% RT average convinced those on the fence to go see it, and the A CinemaScore means that word of mouth will be good. That’s important for the film, as Creed delivered solid-but-not-blockbuster numbers overseas. Creed II has yet to open internationally yet.

At this point, it seems a given that Creed II will surpass its predecessor’s $109.8 million final gross. Without any major new releases next weekend, the movie could end up holding better than the first film’s 49% drop. By the end of its run it should top $125 million, making it a hit on a $50 million budget plus marketing.

Thanksgiving is usually good for holiday films, and The Grinch was no exception. The CG-animated take on the holiday classic was down just 22% in the three-day take to $30.2 million, with $42 million over the full five-day weekend. That brings the Universal family film to $180.4 million domestically and $215.7 million worldwide, well on its way to a $230 million domestic gross. The film’s budget was $75 million.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was off 52% in its second weekend with a three-day take of $29.7 million. The Potterverse film scored $42.9 million from Wednesday to Sunday. Despite the lower reception, the movie is performing moderately well with $117.1 million domestically and $439.7 million worldwide. Like the first Fantastic Beasts, it is relying strongly on its overseas grosses and is a hit. It will hit around $180 million by the end of its run domestically. The budget was $200 million.

Bohemian Rhapsody was down a mere 14% in its fourth weekend, with $13.9 million over three days and $19.4 million over five days. That brings the rock biopic up to $152 million domestically and an exceptional $472.1 million worldwide from a budget of $52 million. Fox is incredibly happy about this one, which overcame a lot of pre-release negative buzz to become a hit.

Adoption-themed comedy Instant Family was also off 14% over three days in its second weekend. The film nailed down $12.5 million over three days and $17.4 million over five. The film is looking like it could leg out to profit if it continues to hold on well. Thus far it has $35.8 million domestically against a $48 million budget, with no overseas grosses as of yet. It should be able to top $55 million in the US.

One film is a glaring flop over the weekend, and that’s Robin Hood. The Taron Egerton-starring reboot of the legendary hero fell on its face with $9.1 million over three days and $14.2 million over five. There’s no good face that can be put on this, even if it did perform about where analysts expected it to do.

The reason this is bad news? Budget. Robin Hood had a $90 million budget and there’s no way this comes close to that at this point. There are a lot of reasons, but it’s notable to point out that it is the latest string in a long run of classic stories to fall apart at the box office. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was a disaster in summer 2017 and The Legend of Tarzan lost money in mid-2016. Audiences are tired of modernized, gritty retakes of old-school properties.

That saids, let’s not discount the failures in marketing and quality that Lionsgate had here. The promotion for the film flew well under the radar and didn’t do much for audiences’ desire to see it. The 11% Rotten Tomatoes consensus was another nail in the coffin, and the lackluster B CinemaScore didn’t help. Overseas grosses helped Tarzan and King Arthur, but won’t do anything here. The film brought in just $8.7 million in thirty-three markets, which is a good portion of its footprint. It looks likely to fall short of $40 million domestically and will be a big write-down for the studio.

Widows followed up its disappointing first weekend with a moderate second-weekend hold. TRhe critically-acclaimed crime drama slipped 36% to $8 million, with a five-day take of $10.6 million. This is a bit higher than Fox would have liked, though it isn’t looking in the absolute worst shape. Thus far it has $25.9 million domestically and $38.6 million worldwide, with a likely final domestic take of $45 million or so. The budget was $42 million, meaning international grosses will need to save it.

Universal’s drama Green Book expanded wide after a weekend in limited release, bringing in $5.4 million in three days and $7.4 million in five. This is lower than Universal would have liked for the film, which found itsself crowded out of adult audiences by Creed II and Bohemian Rhapsody in particular. It’s not a great start, but it could be worse and Universal is likely to try and hold this one by hyping its critical regard (82% Rotten Tomatoes). If it can hold on well and even expand, it could pick up momentum in awards season. Right now, a safe bet for the film is around $30 million. Based on a $23 million budget, it’ll need more than that for profit.

A Star Is Born closed out the top ten with $3 million (down 30%) in three days and $4.1 over five days. The musical drama now has $191 million domestically and $353.4 million worldwide. $205 million seems like the likely US finish. On a $36 million budget, this is a huge hit.

Next weekend only has one semi-wide release, in Screen Gems’ horror flick The Possession of Hannah Grace. That film should start in the mid-single digits. Ralph Breaks the Internet should lead the way again.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Ralph Breaks the Internet – $55.7 million ($84.5 million total)
2. Creed II – $35.3 million ($55.8 million total)
3. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch – $30.2 million ($180.4 million total)
4. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – $29.7 million ($117.1 million total)
5. Bohemian Rhapsody – $13.9 million ($152 million total)
6. Instant Family – $12.5 million ($35.8 million total)
7. Robin Hood – $9.1 million ($14.2 million total)
8. Widows – $8.3 million ($25.9 million total)
9. Green Book – $5.4 million ($7.4 million total)
10. A Star Is Born – $3 million ($191 million total)