BOX OFFICE REPORT November 15-17, 2013(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)
TOP 51. Thor: The Dark World ($38.4 million)2. Best Man Holiday ($30.5 million)3. Last Vegas ($8.8 million)4. Free Birds ($8.3 million)5. Bad Grandpa ($7.6 million)
The God of Thunder held onto his throne this weekend, as Thor: The Dark World took in another $38.4 million to stay at No. 1. The film has now made nearly half a billion worldwide, putting it in the top 10 for the year. It will easily climb to the No. 6 spot in the next few weeks, but won't match Man of Steel's $662.8 million global haul.
The big surprise for everyone involved, even the filmmakers, has to be the impressive debut of The Best Man Holiday. Coming 14 years after the original, which seemed destined to be forgotten in the rotation of basic cable afternoons, it's a complete shock that the film earned only $8 million less than Thor. Looking more closely, however, this isn't surprising at all. As I've been saying all year, African Americans and Latinos are notoriously underserved by Hollywood. Time and again we've seen strong debuts of dramas and comedies by and from these groups. And these films only cost a fraction of the blockbusters and much more likely to produce a significant return.
Once again, Free Birds and Last Vegas swapped places to continue their thoroughly mediocre runs. Whoop-de-doo.
Outside the top 5: - This Weekend's Indie Champ: Alexander Payne's father-son road trip comedy Nebraska debuted strongly with $35,000 on each of its four screens. The film is garnering strong Oscar buzz for its lead performance from veteran character actor Bruce Dern.
- Keep an eye on The Christmas Candle. The Christian-themed period piece, produced by former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, will expand over the next few weeks as we get closer to Christmas, and it could end up being yet another independent success story in a year full of them.
- 12 Years a Slave, despite its gruesome "“ but accurate "” depiction of slavery in the Deep South, has turned into a sizable hit, earning nearly $25 million thus far. That take will only grow bigger as the inevitable critics organizations and other awards come its way.
Next week:All hail the mighty Jennifer Lawrence. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will decimate everything in its path. It won't quite match Iron Man 3's near-record this summer, but I'm expecting the second-highest debut of the year with around $160 million. Poor Delivery Man will have to settle for only $18 million.