Christopher Nolan may wish otherwise, but the U.S. box office has been an absolute disaster since theaters started hesitantly reopening back in the summer. His movie made a fair amount of money, but after months of screenings, Tenet’s total take is still just $7 million or so higher than the opening box office of Dunkirk—and it is by far the most successful movie to come out during the pandemic. Things were even more dire than usual this past weekend, though, to the point where the total gross of the top 10 movies was only $250,000 higher than the worst weekend we’ve seen since August (the weekend we described in this recurring feature as “Freaky bad”). The New Mutants made more money in its opening weekend than 10 movies combined made this past weekend. And it’s worth pointing out: This is not the fault of theaters, this is not the fault of Americans who are not going to theaters, and this is not the fault of studios delaying their movies or dumping them on streaming services. The people to blame for this are the people in the federal government who utterly botched their response to the pandemic, making it possible for things to get dramatically worse even into December.
But, as usual, we’ve gotten sidetracked from talking about the box office numbers, so let’s do that: The top spot, once again, went to The Croods: A New Age, and it is entirely because of that one movie that this weekend’s box office had any numbers to speak of. It made $3 million, and while that’s down from last week, it’s enough to push it over $24 million total—meaning, after three weeks, it has outgrossed The New Mutants. After The Croods, nothing else made $1 million. Hell, nothing else even made $500,000, with road trip comedy Half Brothers dropping to $490,000 in its second week. Then we have Elf at $400,000, because you’ve gotta go see Elf in theaters in the middle of a pandemic (sorry, sorry, we forgot the whole blame thing up above).
After that is Freaky, which has been hanging on but only made $315,000, and then the live-action How The Grinch Stole Christmas at $268,000. Really, re-releases dominate the whole list, to the extent that making barely any money counts as dominating. The War With Grandpa landed in sixth with $266,864, then The Polar Express, then National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, then illness romance All My Life at $215,000, and finally a re-release of Wonder Woman at $189,000. This is all depressing for so many reasons, huh?
For a more detailed breakdown of this weekend’s box office numbers, head on over to Box Office Mojo.