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The star-packed period crime-drama The Little Things won another subdued race at the weekend box office with an estimated $4.8 million debut. It is the first 2021 film from Warner Bros. to open simultaneously on HBO Max and in cinemas amid the ongoing pandemic, a controversial decision that has irked some in Hollywood.
Warners says The Little Things scored the largest domestic debut for an R-rated film since the pandemic began. Overseas, the Los Angeles-set neo-noir opened to $2.8 million from 18 markets for a worldwide start of $7.6 million.
In normal times, that would be considered a dismal start. In its box office note, Warners notes that 44 percent of theaters remain shuttered domestically because of the COVID-19 crisis. Cinemas are also shut throughout Europe.
HBO Max did not reveal viewership numbers for The Little Things, just as it hasn’t for Wonder Woman 1984.
“We are absolutely thrilled by how Warner Bros.’ The Little Things is performing on HBO Max — it immediately shot up to number one, where it currently remains. Following the breakthrough success of Wonder Woman 1984, The Little Things shows the insatiable appetite our audience has for high quality, feature films,” said Andy Forssell, HBO Max and executive VP and general manager.
Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: The New Age continued to croon loudly in its 10th weekend with $1.8 million — slightly above its previous frame — for a domestic tally of $44 million and $144.4 million globally.
The sequel, which is also available on premium VOD, is benefiting from being the only studio family film in the marketplace. It was the only title in the top 10 that saw a weekend-over-weekend uptick.
Liam Neeson’s action thriller The Marksman and WW84 appear to have tied for third place with a estimated $1.3 million each (Warners isn’t disclosing grosses on Comscore, but reports grosses on Sundays to the press).
WW84, which debuted on Christmas Day in cinemas that were open and on HBO Max, finished Sunday with an estimated global total of $152 million, a sobering number for a tentpole that cost $200 million to produce before marketing and other costs.
The Marksman, from Open Road/Briarcliff, finished its third Sunday with a domestic total of $7.8 million. The revenge action-thriller stars Liam Neeson.
Among awards contenders, Universal’s News of the World has built its total to $10.4 million, while Focus’ A Promising Young Woman has earned $4.4 million.
Overseas, the animated family film Soul — which is only available in the U.S. on Disney+ — continues to impress, and is on its way to becoming the second-biggest Pixar release of all time in China after ending the weekend with a total of $52.3 million. That puts the film’s foreign total at $85.2 million.
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