Box-Office Preview: 'Krampus' No Match for 'Mockingjay,' 'Good Dinosaur'
The Mother Theresa biopic 'The Letters' also opens nationwide, while the specialty box office sees the debut of Spike Lee's 'Chi-raq' — the first feature from Amazon Studios — 'Lady in the Van,' 'Macbeth' and 'Youth.'
The weekend following Thanksgiving is historically one of the slowest of the year at the North American box office, and 2015 is looking like no exception.
Holdovers The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 and The Good Dinosaur could find themselves in a close race for No. 1 with a weekend take in the $20 million range, easily enough to beat pre-Christmas offering Krampus. From Legendary Pictures and Universal, the movie recounts the ancient legend of Krampus, who punishes those who have lost their Christmas spirit.
Krampus, playing in 2,899 locations, is tracking to open in the low-teen millions. Directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick r' Treat), the horror-comedy stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette and David Koechner. The film is showing the most interest among younger moviegoers. Overseas, Krampus opens in 24 markets.
The other title debuting nationwide is biographical drama The Letters, although it is only rolling out in some 1,000 theaters. The film, starring Juliet Stevenson as Mother Theresa and directed by William Riead, has received scathing reviews.
A flurry of movies are opening 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. Roadside Attractions and Amazon will take the pic out in more than 300 locations.
Other limited offerings include Macbeth, based on William Shakespeare's play and starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, and Paolo Sorrentino's Youth, starring Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano. Both movies have earned strong reviews, and first premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Lady in the Van, starring Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Roger Allam, Deborah Findlay and Jim Broadbent, is waging an Oscar-qualifying run. The film, which sees Smith reprise her acclaimed stage performance in Nicholas Hytner's screen adaptation of Alan Bennett's play, boasts the top Rotten Tomatoes score of any movie opening this weekend, or 97 percent fresh.
Anton Corbijn's Life, starring Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan, also debuts in a limited run. The film recounts the friendship between Life photographer Dennis Stock and actor James Dean.