Buoyed by stellar reviews, "Creed" — the seventh film in the "Rocky" franchise — landed a knockout at the box office over the extended Thanksgiving holiday, raking in $42.6 million over five days ($30 million of that was from Friday to Sunday). And Disney has a hit with the Pixar pic "The Good Dinosaur," which took in $55 million (with $38.5 million in the three-day weekend), much of that at reduced kiddie admissions Over on the limited side, "The Danish Girl" did boffo business in its first weekend making $185K at four locations in New York and Los Angeles; that translates into a per screen average of just over $46K. Focus Features plans a slow roll out in the weeks to come.
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Among the holdovers, "Carol" packed them in once again at just four locations, earning an impressive $203K. Last weekend, it debuted with $246K, scoring the third-best per screen average of the year at $62K. By comparison, "Steve Jobs" did more than double that in weekend one at $130K per while "Sicario" averaged $67K. Unlike both those pictures, the Weinstein Company is planning a platform release for this Oscar contender. It won't expand at all till mid-December before going wide after Oscar nominations are announced in mid-January.
Our leading contender for Best Picture "Spotlight" made $4.2 million in its fourth frame as it jumped from 598 to 897 screens nationwide. That haul of just under $4,700 per screen was good enough for seventh place on the overall box office chart. Rave reviews boosted interest in this docudrama that details the work by the Boston Globe to expose the coverup by the local Catholic diocese of pedophile priests and its cumulative take is now up to $5.7 million as awards season heats up.
“Brooklyn" hauled in $3.7 million as it expanded to 845 theater (from 111) nationwide in its fourth week; that puts it in ninth place on the box office chart. With a PSA of $4,400 this weekend, Fox Searchlight is doing well with its gradual platform of this period charmer that stars Saoirse Ronan, a strong Best Actress contender, as an Irish emigrant to America in the early 1950s.
The fourth weekend tally for “Trumbo” was an impressive $1.5 million across 616 screens for a per screen average of $3,100. Bleecker Street is releasing this film starring Emmy and Tony champ Bryan Cranston as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
Among other holdovers, the Focus Features release “Suffragette” is down to 217 locations in its fifth week and made a quarter of a million for an average of just over $1K per screen. This historical drama about the fight for the vote by British women has made $4 million stateside.
“Room” grossed $311,000 in 175 locations (up from 160) for a PSA of $1,800 in week seven. This A24 release has racked up just over $3.4 million to date.
Among those titles still in general release, Sony continues to score with "Spectre," which made a respectable $12.8 million in week four, which was good enough for fourth place overall. Fox did good business with animated feature "The Peanuts Movie," which was in fifth as it added another $9.8 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative gross of $117 million (as with "The Good Dinosaur" many of those admissions were at reduced prices). And the studio saw "The Martian" land in eighth by adding an impressive $3.3 million in its ninth frame for a total tally of $217 million and counting. And Disney must be pleased with Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies," which did well enough in its seventh week to come in at 13th on the overall chart, adding another $1.4 million to its haul which now totals $67.5 million.
As of this writing, all 21 of our Oscar experts (journalists who cover this beat for major media including Variety, Yahoo, USA Today, and Huffington Post) are predicting that "Spotlight" and "Room" will reap Best Picture bids. Eighteen are doing the same for "Bridge of Spies" and "The Martian" and 16 for "Brooklyn," "Carol" and "Steve Jobs."
Among the performers in these pictures, "Room" breakout star Brie Larson sit atops the Best Actress chart although she faces a strong challenge from Jennifer Lawrence in "Joy," which just screened for the first time and is due out at Christmas. Over in Best Actor, Leonardo DiCaprio is now solidly in first place for "The Revenant," which also just unspooled for the industry in advance of its Xmas release. He supplanted the long-time frontrunner, "Steve Jobs" player Michael Fassbender.
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Photo: Warner Bros.