Pixar’s Day of the Dead-themed family fantasy Coco managed to rise above the news-cycle fray over the holiday weekend, landing comfortably at No. 1 with a solid $49 million opening weekend and $12,295 per-theater average. And with a rapturous A+ CinemaScore from younger-skewing audiences (55 percent of those polled were under the age of 25), the film will likely hover at or near the top of the U.S. box office charts for weeks to come—something that critics won’t mind, for once, given that the film also sits at an impressive 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Even the childless and animation-adverse have a heartwarming success story to celebrate on this unusually optimistic weekend at the movies: Lady Bird, which dropped from No. 8 to No. 11 this week, nevertheless adding a healthy additional $4 million to its $10 million-and-counting domestic box-office haul. That’s all well and good, and bodes well for Greta Gerwig’s directorial career. But statistics-wise, the story of the weekend for Lady Bird was setting a new record as the best-reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes, with 169 positive reviews to Toy Story 2's 163. Even the infamous Armond White gave the movie a rare positive review.
In other beautiful things, Luca Guagadino’s swooning, languid coming-of-age romance Call Me By Your Name made its modestly successful debut over the weekend at No.13, pulling in $404,874 at just four theaters. Raw numbers-wise, that’s less than half the haul of the thoroughly “meh” The Man Who Invented Christmas, which made $1.3 million to land at No. 12 in its opening weekend. But judged by another metric, Call Me By Your Name blew The Man Who Invented Christmas out of the water with a $101,219 per-screen average (by far the week’s highest) to the Christmas Carol origin story’s $2,146 per screen. Lagging behind both was Joe Wright’s stuffy-but-enjoyable Winston Churchill biopic Darkest Hour, which came in at No. 19 with $176,000 on a scarce four screens.
It was a good weekend at the movies overall, a $180 million haul—a 4 percent increase from last year’s Thanksgiving box office—spread relatively evenly over the top 12. Justice League did fine but not great, again, dropping 56 percent from last week’s $96 million but still landing at No. 2 with $40 million, while Wonder’s feel-good streak continued, dropping just one place to come in at No. 3. Further down the charts, Thor: Ragnarok’s still hanging on to the top five, Murder On The Orient Express dropped significantly less than anticipated in its third weekend (hello, sequel), and Roman J. Israel, Esq. and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri benefitted from low expectations by outperforming them at No. 9 and No. 10, respectively.
Then there’s No. 5 film in America Daddy’s Home 2, starring unrepentant anti-Semite Mel Gibson in a comedic role, but let’s not spoil the good mood by dwelling on such things.