The winter box office season got off to a relatively quiet start this weekend, with Terminator: Dark Fate opening to a soft $29 million. Despite being the first Terminator sequel to open on a Friday, it is still the second lowest opening weekend of all time for the franchise, coming in ahead of only the $27 million that Terminator: Genisys made four years ago. Despite better reviews than the last two sequels, the film received the same B+ Cinemascore as those two movies, so legs might not be much better. With more action-oriented releases over the next couple weeks including Midway, Charlie’s Angels, and Ford v. Ferrari, expect a final domestic total around $80 million.
The biggest success story of the weekend was in fourth place, where Harriet outperformed expectations with a strong $12 million opening weekend. While Focus has tended to do platform releases for its major November releases in the past like Dallas Buyers Club, The Theory of Everything, and Loving, Harriet received a wide release 2,059 theaters, closer to their wide release launch of BlacKkKlansman last summer in 1,512 theaters. The release was a success, also out-opening the first wide weekend of Selma ($11.3 million). Like Selma, Harriet received a rare A+ from Cinemascore, so even with more adult-aimed awards fare opening in the coming weeks, the movie should leg out to a final domestic total somewhere north of $40 million.
The other two new wide releases this weekend opened with a thud. Motherless Brooklyn grossed $3.65 million, an opening that’s respectable mostly for being almost 50% higher than The Goldfinch while being in half the number of theaters. Expect a $9 million total gross for the $25 million film noir throwback. And while it’s no Delgo, Arctic Dogs still had one of the worst opening weekends of all time for a widely released animated film in recent memory, grossing a pitiful $3.1 million. With Frozen II just three weeks away, expect this to shuffle its way out of theaters rather quickly before finishing with a $7 million total.
Among holdovers, Joker managed the best hold in the top 10 and the best weekend hold of its entire run yet, dropping only -28% to a $13.9 million weekend gross, putting it just $400,000 shy of becoming only the 6th R-rated movie to make over $300 million domestic. With this hold, Joker now has a shot at out-grossing Aquaman‘s $335 million domestic gross to become the 4th highest grossing DC Comics adaptation of all time, behind only Wonder Woman and Christopher Nolan’s two Dark Knight sequels. Maleficent dropped to third place with a $12.2 million weekend and $84.3 million total, while The Addams Family had a strong -29% drop to $8.5 million for a $85.2 million total, keeping $100 million within reach (as long as it gets there before Frozen II opens).
Just outside the top 10, three platform releases continued their expansions. In its fourth weekend Parasite grossed $2.6 million from 461 theaters for a 24-day total of $7.5 million. It has now surpassed Amour as the highest grossing Palme D’Or winner of all time in America that is not in the English language. In its third weekend Jojo Rabbit made $2.4 million from 256 theaters for a $4.3 million total, setting it up well for its wide expansion next weekend (theater count TBA). The Lighthouse added 392 theaters this weekend but still dropped -33% for a $2 million weekend gross. With a $7 million total as of Sunday, the movie should become only the fifth 100% black-and-white movie this century to gross over $10 million in America, a pretty wild achievement on the part of A24.
1. Terminator: Dark Fate – $29,000,000 (NEW)
2. Joker – $13,925,000 (-28%)
3. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – $12,175,000 (-37%)
4. Harriet – $12,000,000 (NEW)
5. The Addams Family (2019) – $8,499,007 (-29%)
6. Zombieland: Double Tap – $7,350,000 (-38%)
7. Countdown – $5,850,000 (-34%)
8. Black and Blue – $4,050,000 (-52%)
9. Motherless Brooklyn – $3,650,000 (NEW)
10. Arctic Dogs – $3,100,000 (NEW)
Parasite – $2,630,000 (+44%)
Jojo Rabbit – $2,401,000 (+130%)
The Lighthouse – $2,020,000 (-33%)