Box Office: 'Krampus' Beats 'Good Dinosaur' With $16M; 'Hunger Games' Stays No. 1
Elsewhere, Spike Lee's 'Chi-Raq' does big business in Chicago as the first original movie from Amazon Studios opens in select cities.
Holiday horror-comedy Krampus outperformed expectations in its debut at the North American box office, grossing $16 million from 2,902 theaters to come in No. 2 behind The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2.
Mockingjay 2 stayed No. 1 for the third consecutive weekend with $18.6 million from 4,086 locations. The final installment in Lionsgate's YA film franchise raced past the $500 million mark globally over the weekend, finishing Sunday with a worldwide cume of $523.9 million. Overseas, it also dominated with $32.4 million, putting its foreign total at $296.8 million.
Lionsgate and Alcon also saw solid results offshore with Point Break, which debuted to $14.1 million in six Asian markets, including $12.1 million in China. The remake opens Christmas Day in North America.
In a surprise upset, Legendary and Universal's Krampus beat animated family tentpole The Good Dinosaur, which tumbled 60 percent in its second weekend domestically, tying with Cars 2 to mark the steepest drop ever for a Pixar title (some rival studios show Dinosaur falling 61 percent).
Still, domestic revenue was up sharply, or 27 percent, from the same weekend a year ago.
Good Dinosaur tied with Warner Bros.' Rocky reboot Creed for the No. 3 spot, with both films estimating weekend earnings of $15.5 million. The exact order will be determined Monday when final weekend numbers are released. Overseas, Good Dinosaur earned $19.4 million from 45 markets for an early foreign total of $55.4 million. The domestic tally is $76 million for a worldwide cume of $131.4 million through Sunday.
From director Ryan Coogler, Creed continued to deliver a strong punch in its second weekend, falling just 48 percent for a domestic total of $65 million through Sunday.
Directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick 'r Treat), Krampus stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette and David Koechner and recounts the ancient legend of Krampus, who punishes those who have lost their Christmas spirit. The movie played best in America's heartland.
"Krampus was relatable to all age groups with exit polls indicating a nearly even audience split under and over the age of 21," said Universal domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou. "Fact is, the strongest category was moviegoers under 15. As you might suspect, the mix of horror and humor played to all audiences and tied into a holiday theme, which resonated with younger moviegoers."
Krampus also started rolling out overseas, grossing $3.3 million, including a stellar $423,000 in Austria, home country of the holiday legend.
The weekend's only other new nationwide offering in the U.S., The Letters, failed to generate much interest. The biographical drama, starring Juliet Stevenson as Mother Teresa, bombed with $802,000 from 886 theaters after receiving scathing reviews. Freestyle Releasing is handling the indie film in the U.S.
A flurry of movies opened at the specialty box office as awards season intensifies, including Spike Lee's well-received Chi-Raq, the first title from Amazon's original films division. The movie, tackling the issue of gun violence in Chicago, came in No. 13 with $1.3 million from 305 locations for a screen average of $4,092.
Chi-Raq is doing its biggest business in Chicago. It's unclear how wide the pic will ultimately play, since many theaters will likely refuse to carry the title since it will be offered relatively quickly on Amazon Prime (an official release date has not been set). Roadside Attractions is handling the film theatrically.
"When we saw an early cut of Chi-Raq, we knew it was crucial to get the film out as soon as possible," said Amazon Studios head of marketing and distribution Bob Berney.
"The numbers out of Chicago are phenomenal. In Chicago, we estimate a $15,000-plus per screen average on 22 screens," Berney continued. "And in the majority of our 305 theaters, we're one of the top three grossing films. All of this is a testament to the support of the local Chicago community and, across the board, the urgency of the situation. Chi-Raq has been recognized as a call to action to stop the violence plaguing cities across the country, not only Chicago."
Other new limited offerings include Macbeth, based on William Shakespeare's play and starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. The film debuted to $67,868 from five theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $13,574.
Paolo Sorrentino's Youth, starring Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano, fared somewhat better, debuting to an estimated $80,000 from four theaters for a location average of $20,000.
Both movies have earned strong reviews and first premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. However, neither could match holdovers Carol and The Danish Girl, which scored location averages of $36,810 and $26,500, respectively. Carol has now scored the top location average of the weekend for three straight weeks.
Among other awards contenders, Spotlight and Brooklyn stayed in the top 10. Spotlight grossed $2.9 million from 980 theaters for a domestic total of $16.6 million, followed by Brooklyn with $2.4 million from 906 locations for a cume of $11.2 million.
Dec. 6, 7:45 a.m. Updated with weekend numbers.