Illumination/Universal’s “The Grinch” will pilfer the top spot on this weekend’s box office after making $18.6 million from 4,141 screens on Friday, with early estimates giving the Dr. Seuss adaptation a $67 million opening against a $75 million budget.
By comparison, Illumination’s previous Dr. Seuss film, “The Lorax,” opened to $70 million in spring 2012, a figure that “The Grinch” should pass on Monday with the help of school closures for Veterans Day if it hasn’t done so already by overperforming on Saturday and Sunday matinees.
Typical for most family films with this sort of start, “Grinch” earned an A- from CinemaScore polls, giving it the word of mouth its going to need if its going to continue performing well in the coming weeks against tough competition like “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”
In second this weekend with a strong hold is Fox/New Regency’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which is nearing the $100 million domestic mark with an estimated second weekend total of $28.6 million. That would be just a 44 percent drop from the film’s $51 million opening and give it a 10-day total of $97 million. With family films dominating the new release slate in the coming weeks, “Bohemian” sits as a unique offering for audiences and should continue to post the sort of strong holds that “A Star Is Born” showed last month.
The bombing “Nutcracker and the Four Realms” sits in third with an estimated $9.7 million in its second weekend, just ahead of this weekend’s two other new releases, Paramount’s “Overlord” and Sony’s “The Girl in the Spider’s Web.”
Both newcomers have earned a B on CinemaScore and are currently projected to finish on the lower end of their opening weekend projections. “Overlord,” a J.J. Abrams-produced WWII horror film that has an 80 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, is currently projected to open to around $9.5 million from 2,859 screens.
“The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” which did not perform as well with critics with a 44 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, is looking at a $8 million opening from 2,929 screens. By comparison, the 2011 adaptation of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” opened to $12.7 million and went on to gross $230 million worldwide against a $90 million budget. “Spider’s Web” won’t reach that mark, but was made on a much cheaper $42 million budget.