While the end of December often brings the box office year to a close with a bang, the first two weekends often represent the calm before the storm. Between December 16 and Christmas Day, seven new movies hit theaters in wide release, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Collateral Beauty, Assassin's Creed, Sing, Passengers, Why Him? and Fences. Between the upcoming December 9 frame and last weekend, only two new movies arrive in wide releae, Incarnate, which opened in ninth place with $2.6 million and this weekend's sole newcomer, Paramount's Office Christmas Party. This weekend will also see an expansion into roughly 1,600 theaters for Miss Sloane, which opened over Thanksgiving in limited release. Given this lack of competition, Moana should come out on top for a third week in a row over this holiday comedy, although it will likely be quite the close call.
Box Office Mojo reports that the R-rated comedy Office Christmas Party will open in roughly 2,800 theaters, which is over 1,000 less than Moana's 3,875 rollout, although that may drop a bit this weekend. Moana dropped almost exactly half of its $56.6 million opening weekend tally last weekend, by coming out on top with $28.2 million, and we're predicting it will drop another 50% to come out on top with $14.1 million. Office Christmas Party will likely come in a very close second place with $13.8 million in its opening weekend. With a race this close, it's possible that both of these movies could flip flop on the charts, but we'll find out on Sunday which movie comes out on top.
Moana has taken in $119.7 million domestically through its first two weekends in theaters, although it hasn't fared quite as well internationally. The film has only earned $59.7 million in foreign markets for a worldwide total of $179.5 million. Moana is set in the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, where a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore. Dwayne Johnson leads the voice cast as Maui, with newcomer Auli'i Cravalho voicing the title character. The supporting voice cast is rounded out by Alan Tudyk as Heihei, Nicole Scherzinger as Sina and Jemaine Clement as Tamatoa.
In Office Christmas Party, when the CEO (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close her hard-partying brother's branch, he (T.J. Miller) and his Chief Technical Officer (Jason Bateman) must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs. The latest comedy from directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (Blades of Glory) co-stars Kate McKinnon, Olivia Munn, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson, Jamie Chung, and Courtney B. Vance in the funniest movie of the holiday season.
We're predicting that Miss Sloane will finish in sixth place this weekend, earning $3.8 million from roughly 1,600 theaters. In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. Known equally for her cunning and her track record of success, she has always done whatever is required to win. But when she takes on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds that winning may come at too high a price.
The rest of the top 10 should remain largely intact, with Moana and Office Christmas Party followed by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in third place with $9.7 million, Arrival in fourth place with $4.7 million and Allied rounding out the top 5 with $4.1 million. The top 10 will be rounded out by Miss Sloane ($3.8 million), Doctor Strange ($3.4 million) Trolls ($2.5 million), Hacksaw Ridge ($1.8 million) and Bad Santa 2 ($1.1 million). There are also a number of platform releases that could fare well also.
Lionsgate will roll out its critically-acclaimed musical La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, alongside Magnolia's documentary Harry Benson: Shoot First, Screen Media's thriller Sugar Mountain, Viva Pictures Distribution's romantic comedy The Bounce Back and Yash Raj's drama Bekfire. The Bounce Back is actually opening in roughly 600 theaters, but that won't likely be enough to have it crack the top 10. La La Land, which is considered by many to be an early awards season favorite, after critically-acclaimed festival runs, will open in five theaters this weekend.
Looking ahead to next weekend, the crowded holiday frame gets started with the highly-anticipated Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which opens against Warner Bros.' Collateral Beauty, with Will Smith leading an ensemble cast including Edward Norton, Helen Mirren and more. Paramount will also debut Fences, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in New York and Los Angeles before expanding nationwide on Christmas Day. Also opening in limited release is The Orchard's Neruda, Indican's The Grace of Jake, Independent's Hollow Point and Lionsgate Premiere's Solace. Take a look at our projected top 10 for the weekend of December 9.
|2||Office Christmas Party|
|3||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them|
|10||Bad Santa 2|