“Daddy’s Home 2” Runs “Orient Express” Off the Tracks In Race for Second Place

Daddys Home 2Paramount Pictures

Film  Weekend Opening Weekend Current Gross
Thor: Ragnarok (Disney) $57.1m $122.7m $212.1m
Daddy’s Home 2 (Paramount) $29.7m $29.7m $29.7m
Murder on the Orient Express (Fox) $28.7m $28.7m $28.7m
A Bad Moms Christmas (STX) $11.5m $16.8m $39.9m
Jigsaw (Lionsgate) $3.4m $16.6m $34.4m

Well, well, well. We called it, folks! Despite the grinch-like presence of Mel Gibson, Paramount’s holiday comedy Daddy’s Home 2 ran Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express off the tracks in the race for second place. Sure, we underestimated the audience for both films, especially Orient Express, but in the end, we nailed the order of this week’s Top Five. More importantly, at least to Paramount and 20th Century Fox, both of these openings are very respectable, and Daddy’s Home 2 certainly breaks Will Ferrell out of his slump. He needed a hit, and thanks to his winning comedic chemistry with Mark Wahlberg, he got one.

A Bad Moms Christmas and Jigsaw both came in a smidge higher than our projections, and realistically, both of those sequels are right where they should be at this point in their theatrical runs. The horror genre on the whole has moved on from torture porn (pardon the phrase, which I loathe) to something more upscale, and given that shift in audiences’ tastes, I think Jigsaw did about as well as can be expected. Meanwhile, A Bad Moms Christmas no doubt saw Daddy’s Home 2 cut into its second weekend, but it should have legs and play nicely through the holidays.

That brings us to Thor: Ragnarok, which predictably won the weekend with $57.1 million, representing a 53.5 percent drop. That drop is a little bit bigger than I expected, which has to be a minor worry to Marvel (especially with Justice League coming out next week), but again, overall, the film is doing gangbusters business, and it has already passed Thor: The Dark World at both the domestic ($212 million to $206 million) and international ($440 million to $438 million) box office. Expect Taika Waititi to be flooded with offers after this, as if he doesn’t have enough projects on his development plate.

Elsewhere, Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, Geostorm, Blade Runner 2049, Happy Death Day and Lady Bird rounded out the Top 10 last weekend, with all of them taking in between $1.2 million and $2 million in domestic grosses.

Finally, Fox Searchlight’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri posted an excellent per-screen average with $80,542, and The Orchard’s supernatural drama Thelma also did well, taking in nearly $11,000 on a single screen.

Expect a shakeup in the chart next week, when Justice League flies into theaters along with Sony’s animated movie The Star, Lionsgate’s tearjerker Wonder, and Denzel Washington’s new film Roman J. Israel, Esq.

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Still quiet here.sas

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