Disney’s adorable new children’s film, Encanto, opened this past weekend to strong reviews and a No. 1 spot at the U.S. box office over the holiday weekend, bringing in a solid $40 million in the U.S. and $69 million worldwide over its first four days of release.
The kids win again. This one will no doubt continue to sell for a few more weeks before having a sure-thing long term run on streaming.
Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife stumbled a bit over its second weekend of release, taking the No. 2 spot with just $24.5 million. So far, the flick, which stars Paul Rudd, has sold $87 million in the U.S. and $116 million worldwide. Oof.
Not great numbers for a movie with “Ghostbusters” in the title. I haven’t seen the flick yet but I do plan to, and will be pretty excited about it.
Ridley Scott’s very good second major release of 2021, House of Gucci, took the No. 3 spot over its first weekend, selling a decent $22 million domestically. Add in foreign sales and it looks like this one might end up being pretty successful. If you’ve not yet seen it, I highly recommend it. Very fun and well made.
Next up at the No. 4 spot is Chloe Zhao’s disappointing Eternals, which made $7.9 million over the holiday weekend, upping the film’s four-week worldwide sales total to $368 million. Not bad but not exactly MCU numbers. Sorry, Chloe.
And, finally, at the No. 5 spot we have Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, a film I didn’t even know was being made or released. The flick sold $5.3 million in the U.S. over its first weekend. Woof.
Also of note: The excellent Will Smith vehicle, King Richard, sold another $3.3 million over its second weekend of release, upping the flick’s 10-day worldwide sales total to just $16.6 million. Not great. This was supposed to be the film that got Smith his Oscar. Seems unlikely if no one sees it.
I saw the movie and enjoyed it quite a bit, but didn’t feel like Smith’s performance was Oscar-worthy.
Wolf, a new flick from Nathalie Biancheri, will open wide. The film stars George MacKay, Lily-Rose Depp (in what’s slated to be a star-making role), and Paddy Considine, in what is being described as “a high-concept arthouse drama about a boy who believes he is a wolf.” The trailer is great and Biancheri is a good talent. Looking forward to this one.
Also out in limited release: Silent Night; Benedetta; Twas the Night; and True to the Game 3. A pretty lame week of releases considering we’re currently in the heart of the Oscar Bait Season. Don’t worry, the rest of December is stacked.
Paul Thomas Anderson is, for my money, by far the best working filmmaker right now. And has been off and on since he arrived in the mid-90s with Hard Eight. Well, get this.
PTA snuck out a trailer for his tenth feature film, Licorice Pizza, a few weeks ago, then basically snuck the film out onto a few screens this past weekend in limited release.
The flick is getting glowing reviews, but so far has only played maybe 20 times in the world as I type this. Can’t wait for Licorice Pizza to expand and hopefully get a lot of butts into theater seats.
In celebration of PTA having a new film, I figured I’d rank and rate his truly brilliant catalog:
9. Junun (80/100)
8. Hard Eight (85/100)
7. Phantom Thread (86/100)
6. Inherent Vice (95/100)
5. Punch-Drunk Love (96/100)
4. Magnolia (99/100)
3. Boogie Nights (100/100)
2. There Will Be Blood (100/100)
1. The Master (100/100)