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A look at your new movie options for this holiday season

A look at your new movie options for this holiday season 03:26

“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” led a host of new releases at the box office the weekend before Christmas Monday. The DC and Warner Bros. superhero sequel starring Jason Momoa earned an estimated $28.1 million in its first three days of release in 3,706 North American locations, according to studio estimates Sunday. By Monday, it is projected to have around $40 million in ticket sales nationwide.

Despite many new offerings, including the animated family film “Migration,” the R-rated romantic comedy “Anyone But You,” the wrestling family tragedy “The Iron Claw” and a ghostly tearjerker in “All of Us Strangers “, this will become a quieter count before the holidays at the box office.

It's never good for Hollywood or movie theaters when Christmas Eve falls on a prime-time weekend day, but the last time Christmas was on a Monday, in 2017, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” dominated the charts. of four days with 71.5 million dollars of its collection. second weekend.

On Christmas Day, which often draws large crowds to theaters, they will be joined by several highly anticipated new films.

These include the big-budget musical adaptation of “The Color Purple,” starring Fantasia Barrino Taylor, Taraji P. HensonDanielle Brooks, Colman Domingo and Corey Hawkins. Oprah Winfreywho played Sofia in the 1985 film adaptation of Alice Walker's novel, serves as producer.

Fantasia Barrino Taylor explains why she took on the role of Celie in “The Color Purple” 08:07

In an interview with CBS News' “Sunday Morning” Henson described the film's message: “As long as you have a beat in your heart, there will be time to make your wildest dreams come true.”

“It just reminds me how powerful we are as women when we stick together. And that doesn't mean we're going after you men!” Henson laughed. “If we stick together, we'll take care of you. Relax! You know, men get nervous. Women and girls stick together! You will benefit, trust me.”

Taraji P. Henson on “The Color Purple” 07:24

Also coming this Christmas is Michael Mann's racing movie “Ferrari,” starring Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz and Shailene Woodley; and George Clooneyadaptation of the rowing drama “The Boys in the Boat”, based on the best selling book by Daniel James Brown chronicling the underdog journey of the American rowers at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Everyone should get a boost between Christmas and New Year's, a traditionally lucrative time for movie theaters.

But none compare to some of the biggest holiday grossers, including “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Avatar” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” It didn't go unnoticed on social media that this was the weekend Patty Jenkins' Star Wars movie “Rogue Squadron” was supposed to come out.

“Seven premieres over the course of four days is unusual,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is estimated to have cost around $200 million to produce, not including marketing and promotional costs. Including international estimates of $80 million through Monday, “Aquaman” is on track for a $120 million worldwide debut.

Actor Jason Momoa holds a trident at an event for his new film,
Actor Jason Momoa holds a trident at an event to celebrate his new film, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” in London on Dec. 12, 2023. Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Warner Bros.

The first film opened with $67.8 million in 2018 and grossed nearly $1.2 billion worldwide. Dergarabedian noted that the first film also earned more than 70% of its box office internationally.

The release of “Aquaman” ends a difficult transition year for DC superhero movies, filled with box office disappointments like “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” “The Flash” and “Blue Beetle,” while the studio phases out this list to welcome. in James Gunn's vision for the future. “Aquaman 2” was the last “vestige” of the previous administration.

His studio, Warner Bros., also has the second movie of the weekend, “Wonka,” and one of the biggest holiday releases, “The Color Purple,” a buffet of great movies that theaters desperately needed, especially without nothing new. Walt Disney Company or Paramount film. By Monday, Warner Bros. will likely have three spots in the top five.

“Warners has something for everyone,” said Jeff Goldstein, head of domestic distribution for the studio. “With plenty of vacation time to see the three of them.”

“Wonka,” in its second weekend, earned approximately $17.7 million over the weekend and $26.1 million including Monday, bringing its total domestic earnings to $83.6 million.

Third place went to Illumination and Universal's “Migration,” a PG-rated animated adventure about a family of mallards traveling south. Voice actors include Kumail Najiani, Elizabeth Banks and Awkwafina. It earned an estimated $12.3 million from 3,761 locations in North America through Sunday, which will likely rise to $17.1 million by the end of Monday. Its global total through Sunday is estimated at $34.3 million, and could skyrocket if children stay out of school.

Birds in an image from an animated film.
An image from the animated film “Migration,” about a family of birds flying south during the winter. Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures via AP

“'Migration' hit theaters to really exciting audience reactions that point to what we believe will not only be a fantastic run over the holidays but into the next year as well,” said Jim Orr, Universal's head of domestic distribution.

Aside from Disney's re-releases of some of its Pixar titles earlier in the year, there will be no new direct competition until “Kung Fu Panda 4” comes out on March 8.

Weekend box office earnings fell significantly further down the list, with the romantic comedy “Anyone But You” in fourth place with an estimated $6.2 million in its first three days, and is expected to reach the 9 million dollars including Monday. Directed by Will Gluck, the film, loosely inspired by “Much Ado About Nothing,” deeply divided critics. Audiences gave it a B+ CinemaScore.

In fifth place was the Telugu-language action film “Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire”, which grossed $5.5 million in just 802 theaters. The top 10 included another Indian film, “Dunki” in Hindi, and two Japanese films, “Godzilla Minus One” and “The Boy and the Heron.”

A24's “The Iron Claw,” about the tragedy of the Von Erich family of wrestlers, premiered on 2,774 screens thanks to a wave of positive reviews praising Zac Efron's lead performance.

“No matter where the box office ends up on the 31st, whether it hits $9 billion or close, this is just a boom time to be a moviegoer,” Dergarabedian said. “The top 10 seems like a great success for any type of cinema.”

Below is a list of estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at theaters in the U.S. and Canada, according to Comscore. Final national figures, including Christmas Day, will be published on Tuesday.

1. “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” $28.1 million.
2. “Wonka”, $17.7 million.
3. “Migration”, 12.3 million dollars.
4. “Anyone But You,” $6.2 million.
5. “Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire”, $5.5 million.
6. “The Iron Claw”, $5.1 million.
7. “The Hunger Games: The Ballard of Songbirds and Snakes,” $3.2 million
8. “The Boy and the Heron”, $3.2 million.
9. “Godzilla Minus One,” $2.7 million.
10. “Dunki”, $2.7 million.



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