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‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ Has High Score at the Box Office

‘Ralph’ didn’t break box office records, but with ‘Creed II’ also a hit, this was a good weekend for sequels.
Ralph Breaks Internet
By  · Published on November 26th, 2018

How fitting it would have been for Ralph Breaks the Internet to break a box office record. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the Wreck-It Ralph sequel only achieved the second-best opening for a Thanksgiving debut, behind fellow Disney animated feature Frozen. And that’s not even true, attendance-wise (and inflation-adjustment-wise). The best that can be said for Ralph Breaks the Internet is that it broke its own series opening weekend high score, as its three-day attendance over the weekend was 6.4 million, compared to the original Wreck-It Ralph‘s 6.1 million back in 2012. And Ralph 2 was already in theaters for two days, including the Thanksgiving holiday, ahead of the weekend. Still, perhaps Disney should have pushed even harder (if possible) that Anna and Elsa from Frozen appear in the new movie.

Since its release on Wednesday, Ralph has sold about 9.6 million tickets in North America alone. That’s enough to top the five-day weekend box office, with another sequel, Creed II arriving in second place with a draw of about 6.3 million people. That too was better than its predecessor. The first Creed opened at Thanksgiving in 2015 and sold about 4.8 million tickets. Creed II did not break the record for the overall Rocky/Creed franchise, however. Back in 1985, Rocky IV opened over Thanksgiving and sold about 8.9 million tickets over the five days. And on just 1300 screens compared to Creed II‘s 3400. Rocky III also had a better three-day attendance, selling about 4.2 million tickets in its opening weekend in 1982 compared to Creed II‘s three-day total of about 4 million.

The other wide-release opener over the holiday was Robin Hood, which came in seventh place and was a real stinker for the title character. The Lionsgate release starring Taron Egerton in the lead sold fewer tickets (just one million) than even Ridley Scott’s poor-performing 2010 version of the tale. The opening attendance for the new Robin Hood was also lower than those of the 1993 spoof Robin Hood: Men in Tights and last year’s disappointing Medieval era action movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Even if the character has an easy familiarity, maybe Hollywood should avoid doing Robin Hood again for a least a whole decade this time. Audiences aren’t buying the attempts to make this sort of thing cool, either, not even while Game of Thrones is such a success in similar territory.

As for limited-release openers, The Favourite did break a record for 2018 at least. The latest from Yorgos Lanthimos, which is a favorite for Oscar recognition, had the best per-screen average attendance of the year with 11,960 tickets sold at just four locations. That may only be the 49th greatest average of all time, but it’s the highest since La La Land‘s 20,048 in December 2016. Previous best for this year was Suspiria‘s 10,421 and previous best since La La Land was Call Me By Your Name‘s 11,245 last year. Hopefully, The Favourite will continue to draw crowds as it expands into wide release as it seeks Academy attention, especially since few of this year’s awards contenders are doing much business at the box office.

Roma also had a great limited-release debut, according to IndieWire. Since Netflix is four-walling (aka renting screens for) the release of the fellow Oscar-seeker, there is no traditional box office reporting for the Alfonso Cuaron-helmed drama. Estimates put the Spanish-language film at around 4,000 tickets sold, more than foreign-language award hopeful Shoplifters (2,000 tickets) and better than all foreign films since 2009’s Broken Embraces. There’s no reason to be optimistic about Roma‘s further box office performance, though, because Netflix is only showing the movie on the big screen for a few weeks before its debut on their streaming service on December 14th. Still, the drama had an impressive first five days in theaters for a foreign-language feature that audiences can wait to watch at home very shortly.

One of the biggest box office stories this week is the continued success of Venom, which is coming up on passing the domestic totals of Solo: A Star Wars Story and fellow Marvel Comics adaptation Ant-Man and the Wasp. Sony’s attempt at launching its own mega-franchise is paying off, especially around the world, with the movie already way ahead of both aforementioned blockbusters. Venom is in the global top five for 2018 at the moment and notably just passed Wonder Woman‘s worldwide take and could very well wind up topping all of the DC Extended Universe titles when all is said and done. Not bad for such a poorly reviewed movie. It’s not the only “rotten” title in the domestic or worldwide top 10 — Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom joins it on the negative side — but at 29%, it does have the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score.

Here are the weekend’s top 10 titles by the number of tickets sold with new and newly wide titles in bold and totals in parentheses:

1. Ralph Breaks the Internet – 6.3 million (9.6 million)
2. Creed II – 4 million (6.3 million)
3. The Grinch – 3.4 million (20.4 million)
4. Fantastic Beasts 2 – 3.3 million (13.2 million)
5. Bohemian Rhapsody – 1.6 million (17.2 million)
6. Instant Family – 1.4 million (4 million)
7. Robin Hood – 1 million (1.6 million)
8. Widows – 0.9 million (2.9 million)
9. Green Book – 0.6 million (0.9 million)
10. A Star is Born – 0.3 million (21.6 million)

All non-Roma box office figures via Box Office Mojo.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.