Weekend Box Office: 'The Grinch' Wins With $66M; 'Overlord,' 'Girl in the Spider's Web' Snubbed

Courtesy of Illumination and Universal Pictures
'The Grinch'

The massive Woolsey Fire results in the Los Angeles area being slightly down in terms of box-office revenue; overseas, Sony's 'Venom' opens to a massive $111 million in China.

Hollywood's obsession with reviving dormant film franchises was met with mixed messages at the weekend box office.

Christmas came early for Illumination and Universal as The Grinch, the second big-screen adaptation of the classic Dr. Seuss holiday tale after Ron Howard's 2000 film, opened to a pleasing $66 million from 4,414 North American theaters despite mediocre reviews (it fared better with audiences, earning an A- CinemaScore). Voiced this time out by Benedict Cumberbatch, the CG-animated pic is the first family event film of the year-end corridor.

On the other hand, The Girl in the Spider's Web, starring Claire Foy, opened to a disappointing $8 million from 2,929 locations in a blow to Sony, MGM and New Regency's attempt to reboot the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. The $43 million film, dismissed by many critics, is currently tied with A Star Is Born, now in its sixth weekend, for fifth place. The order won't be decided until Monday morning.

Directed by Fede Alvarez, Girl in the Spider's Web is likewise struggling overseas, where it took in $6.2 million from 49 markets for an early foreign total of $8.2 million and $16.3 million globally.

In 2011, Sony released the English-language adaptation of the first novel in the Millennium series, directed by David Fincher and starring Rooney Mara as Salander opposite Daniel Craig. The film debuted domestically to $12.7 million in December 2011 on its way to earning $230 million globally, not adjusted for inflation. The original Millennium trilogy of films was adapted for the screen by Danish filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev and starred Noomi Rapace as Salander in a breakout role. The first film was released in February 2009, with sequels in September and November of the same year, both directed by Daniel Alfredsson. 

Girl in the Spider's Web was beat by the J.J. Abrams-produced World War II-zombie pic, Overlord, which placed third in its domestic launch with an unimpressive $10.1 million from 2,859 theaters. Overseas, the $38 million horror-thriller turned in a meek $9.1 million from 52 markets for a global bow of $19.3 million. Overlord fared the best among the three new films in terms of its Rotten Tomatoes score (81 percent).

The Grinch started off its foreign run with $12.7 million from 23 markets for a global launch of $78.7 million. The family pic, costing a reported $75 million to make before marketing, has another weekend to itself before Disney Animation's Ralph Breaks the Internet on the eve of Thanksgiving; both movies should enjoy a merry run throughout the year-end holidays.

The massive Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles resulted in weekend box-office revenue for the Los Angeles market being down slightly (7 percent, if not less), according to preliminary estimates.

The Grinch wasn't the only film on the marquee to see plenty of green as 2018 domestic box office revenue hit $10 billion in record time, according to Comscore. Revenue year to date is up more than 10 percent over last year, and nearly 6 percent over 2016, when combined ticket sales hit a record $11.4 billion. Many expect 2018 to set a new benchmark.

Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody grossed a rousing $30.9 million in its second weekend to finish Sunday with a domestic cume of $100 million. The movie, from 20th Century Fox, New Regency and GK Films, fell only 40 percent.

Bohemian Rhapsody also continued to rock the foreign box office, earning another $63 million from 78 markets, including $7 million in South Korea, for an early foreign cume of $185.3 million and $285.3 million worldwide.

But the weekend's biggest winner offshore was Sony's Venom, which opened to a huge $111 million in China, its final market, for a revised global total of $673.5 million. The pic scored the second-biggest China launch of all time for a superhero title, as well as the fifth-best ever for a Western title, according to Sony.

Venom was the highlight of an otherwise dreary weekend for Sony. At the specialty box office, Jason Reitman's political pic The Front Runner, starring Hugh Jackman as scandal-ridden Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart, posted a lackluster opening screen average of $14,000 from four theaters. Sony's awards hopeful bowed Tuesday, timed to the midterm elections. Its earnings total through Sunday stands at $76,000.

Among other awards contenders vying for attention, Amazon Studios expanded Beautiful Boy, starring Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell, nationwide into a total of 776 theaters. The drama earned $1.4 million for a domestic total of $5.2 million.

Netflix launched the Coen brothers' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs in four cinemas in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and London, but isn't reporting grosses. It is the first Netflix original movie to open first in cinemas.