After two and a half months of blah at movie theaters, the first weekend of the Holiday Movie Pool opened with three films garnering a combined $145 million! The fall wasn’t only the season of decay we were passing through, it described the state of the movies on display. Since Suicide Squad in early August, only one film had even made it past the $100 million total mark (Sully) and most had been forgotten after their first weekend. Even horror films decided to take October off as the only scary film released was Boo! A Madea Halloween. Thankfully, audiences were ready to pounce as soon as the fresh films of the Holiday Movie Pool arrived.
Doctor Strange used his higher degree to rack-up a high $85.1 million opening weekend. That’s a big bump from the $57 million Ant-Man debuted with last summer and even above the starting $65 million take for the first Thor and Captain America films. I’m not sure whether it was the Benedict Cumberbatch factor or the MC Escher-esque special effects, but crowds were ready to get it on with the master of the mystic arts. It was also really nice of Disney to allow the flying carpet from Aladdin to play the role of Doctor Strange’s cape.
Trolls hopped, skipped, and blow-dried it’s hair to the tune of a $46.6 million opening which sounds really nice in theory. I mean, sure, it’s way better than what The Garbage Pail Kid Movie achieved. That said, it’s only a couple million more than what The Peanuts Movie started with this same weekend last year and while its $130 million final haul wasn’t peanut-sized, we’re not talking Brazil nuts here either. Don’t tell Justin TImberlake, but I “can’t stop the feeling” this isn’t going to be a as big a hit as they hoped.
Hacksaw Ridge fought (or, err, not fought) it’s way to a $15.2 million start. Though this may pale to the other two films of this week, it’s still more than what Tom Hanks’ Inferno started with last week ($14.9 million) and that was with a lot less of competition. Personally, I’m just happy to see Andrew Garfield in anything other than another Spider-Man film. I’m pretty sure we’ll recall his Amazing run as the wall-crawler in the same light as we do Val Kilmer and George Clooney as Batman.
The Top Five If Today Was MLK Day:
#1. Doctor Strange - $85.1 million
#2. Trolls - $46.6 million
#3. Hacksaw Ridge - $15.2 million
Extra Bonus Section
It’s the age-old tradition where I, the host, tell all of my guests what my Top Five picks were and then try to ignore as they snicker and sneer about how terrible my picks are. I love this part :(
I’ll be honest, there are times I agonize over picks and times I just go with the flow. This was definitely a flow year which means, as always, I’m just as screwed as when I pour over the picks with a fine tooth lice comb.
#1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - If I type this title out enough will this finally be the year I don’t have to keep asking myself if it’s spelled rogue or rouge? This film felt like a no brainer given it a) has Star Wars in the name and b) it has Star Wars in the name. Sure, it’ll do less than The Force Awakens (I think), but it should still in a galaxy far, far away from the other films on this list. I’m going with a $472 million total by MLK Day.
#2. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them - I know nothing about this film. There’s just two words I need to know, Harry Potter, and that put this film as my #2. It’s no Star Wars, yet it has more name brand name awareness (and built in fanbase) than anything that’s not A Star Wars Story.
#3. Moana - I kept flip-flopping between this at #3 or having it at #4, but I’m betting on the contributions from composer Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Hamilton-craze that surrounds him to help take this film to the next level. If it lands somewhere between Tangled and Frozen, I’ll have chosen wisely. If it’s Disney’s first misstep since The Princess and the Frog, I’ll be the one with warts.
#4. Doctor Strange - I’m already a little nervous here as I thought it’d be more like $200 million ceiling and now it looks more like $250 million after it’s great $85 million debut (which, if I knew, would make this more like my #3). Besides me not knowing (and obviously I was wrong) about how filmgoers would take to a more magical and mystical superhero, I also held to this film only having two weeks to make all its cash before everyone knew they could find the Fantastic Beasts at the movie theater. We’ll see what happens.
#5. Passengers - They could’ve just stopped after saying Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, however, saying Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in space... get outta here! I couldn’t be more in.
Good luck, everyone!
by Matt Neuenburg on 11/09/2016
Movies Mentioned in this Post:
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them,
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,