With the pandemic dragging on and vaccine efforts falling behind schedule, the total domestic weekend box office once again fell below $10 million. “Wonder Woman 1984” leads the charts with $3 million to reach $32.6 million in domestic grosses after its third weekend.
Between widespread closures in Europe and lower-than-expected performance in China, the DC blockbuster has now grossed just $131.4 million worldwide. That’s well behind the $207 million grossed by fellow Warner Bros.’ release “Tenet” at this point in its theatrical run.
Elsewhere on the charts, Universal/DreamWorks’ “The Croods: A New Age” passed $125 million worldwide after adding $1.8 million domestically in its seventh weekend and $3.3 million overseas, giving it a global total of $127 million as it also continues its run on early PVOD release. Oscar hopeful “News of the World” is third on the charts with $1.24 million grossed in its third weekend, giving it a total of $7.1 million. Sony’s “Monster Hunter” is fourth with $1.1 million and a total of $7.8 million. Lionsgate’s “Fatale” completes the top 5 with $700,000, bringing its total to just over $3 million.
Overseas, Disney/Pixar’s “Soul,” which was released on Disney+ in the U.S. on Christmas at no extra charge, is continuing to earn solid numbers in China with $6.4 million in its third weekend. That gives the film a $36 million total, putting it close to the $38.4 million grossed by “Finding Dory” in 2016 and well ahead of the $25.3 million grossed in the country by “Wonder Woman 1984.” Once “Soul” passes “Dory,” it will be the third highest-grossing Pixar film ever in China, sitting only behind “Coco” and “The Incredibles 2.”
The meager grosses being earned in the pandemic box office are expected to continue ebbing away over the course of January and are not expected to get any kind of tangible bump until February when dramas like “Nomadland” and “Judas and the Black Messiah” are expected to hit theaters in hopes of building Oscar buzz. Theaters and studios are clinging to hope that the box office will be able to begin the recovery effort this spring should vaccination efforts progress enough under the incoming Biden presidency. However, health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have warned that the U.S. may not be able to achieve herd immunity until September.