With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, two new wide releases – Sony’s video game adaptation Monster Hunter and Lionsgate’s Fatale – debuted in theaters this weekend, marking the first major Hollywood studio releases to hit multiplexes since Universal put out The Croods: A New Age over Thanksgiving weekend. The clear winner this time around was Monster Hunter, which took the top spot at the domestic box office with an estimated $2.2 million from 1,736 locations — though the real story happened overseas, where Warner Bros. unleashed Wonder Woman 1984 in 32 markets.
Starring Milla Jovovich and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson – the husband-and-wife team behind the Resident Evil franchise – Monster Hunter was aimed at the same crowd as that blockbuster series but simply had no chance of reaching the same heights, with the domestic footprint of operating theaters currently sitting below 40 percent due to COVID-19-related closures.
Coming in second place was The Croods: A New Age, which dipped just 35% to an estimated $2 million from 1,906 locations despite debuting on PVOD. The animated sequel, which continues to benefit from no new family-oriented competition in theaters, has $27.03 million through the end of its fourth weekend.
Third place went to the Hilary Swank-Michael Ealy thriller Fatale, which grossed an estimated $925,000 from 1,107 locations in its opening weekend. The film received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics.
Further down the list, Focus Features’ Half Brothers grossed an estimated $260,000 from 1,143 screens, bringing its domestic total to $1.8 million through the end of its third weekend.
Finally, Disney’s latest holiday re-release — the beloved holiday classic The Muppet Christmas Carol — debuted on 725 screens this weekend and grossed an estimated $92,000, putting it well below recent legacy re-releases like Elf, Christmas Vacation and The Polar Express.
Wonder Woman 1984 got an early jump on its North American theatrical/HBO Max release in international territories, where it debuted this weekend to an estimated $38.5 million (the equivalent of over six million admissions) from 32 markets. The critically well-received sequel made nearly half that total in China, where it brought in an estimated $18.8 million — including $3.8 million from IMAX screens — in 18,418 locations. It grossed $5 million in IMAX overall.
Other top markets for the Wonder Woman 1984 were Taiwan ($3.6 million), Thailand ($2 million), Brazil ($1.7 million), Japan and Mexico (both $1.6 million). The superhero follow-up is slated to open in nine additional territories, including Korea and Australia, this week.
The Croods: A New Age brought in an estimated $3.2 million overseas (including $2.5 million in China), bringing its international tally to $57.51 million and its global cume to $84.54 million to date.
Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, DEC. 18 – SUN, DEC. 20
|1||Monster Hunter||$2,200,000||—||1,736||—||$1,267||$2,200,000||1||Sony Pictures|
|2||The Croods: A New Age||$2,000,000||-35%||1,906||-209||$1,049||$27,029,270||4||Universal Pictures|
|4||Half Brothers||$260,000||-47%||1,143||-243||$227||$1,797,430||3||Focus Features|
|1||Elf (2020 re-release)||$365,000||-8%||600||-823||$608||$2,526,920||23||Warner Bros.|
|2||The Polar Express (2020 re-issue)||$231,000||-6%||450||160||$513||$476,000||2||Warner Bros.|
|3||The War With Grandpa||$169,730||-36%||803||-277||$211||$18,186,924||11||101 Studios|
|5||How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2020 re-release)||$130,000||3%||300||0||$433||$256,000||2||Universal|
|6||Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2020 re-release)||$115,000||—||250||—||$460||$115,000||1||Universal|
|7||Come Play||$110,000||-38%||427||-183||$258||$9,359,580||8||Focus Features|
|8||The Muppet Christmas Carol (2020 re-release)||$92,000||—||725||—||$127||$92,000||1||Disney|
|9||All My Life||$70,000||-67%||609||-356||$115||$828,565||3||Universal Pictures|
|10||Honest Thief||$66,000||-51%||355||-270||$186||$14,129,614||10||Open Road Films|
|11||Let Him Go||$60,000||-52%||406||-359||$148||$9,306,140||7||Focus Features|
|12||Wild Mountain Thyme||$43,553||-54%||431||-19||$101||$192,063||2||Bleecker Street|
|1||The Forgotten Carols||$21,400||-24%||45||-25||$476||$448,300||5||Purdie Distribution|
|2||Hunter Hunter||$11,250||—||30||—||$375||$11,250||1||IFC Films|
|3||The New Mutants||$2,500||-79%||52||-182||$48||$23,851,511||17||20th Century Studios|
|4||The Empty Man||$2,500||-54%||80||-95||$31||$2,993,030||9||20th Century Studios|