In its second week of release Thor: Ragnarok took again first place on the US box office chart with $56.6 million, while second place belonged to newly opened Daddy’s Home 2. Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Linda Cardelini, John Lithgow, John Cena and Mel Gibson star in this follow-up to 2015’s comedy hit Daddy’s Home. It made $30 million in its opening weekend.
Paramount fast tracked this sequel after the original’s success, starting development almost immediately after it’s theatrical run and blazing through a production that began on March 20, 2017 to get it onto the big screen less than eight months later. Daddy 2 sees Ferrell and Wahlberg’s characters, the biological and step-fathers to the former’s wife’s children, have their newly civilized relationship put to the test when both of their dad’s come to visit for Christmas. To make matters worse, Wahlberg finds himself dealing with an even tougher dad than himself, John Cena, who plays the baby daddy of his girlfriend’s daughter. Daddy’s Home 2 also made just two overseas stops this frame in Romania and the Netherlands, where it earned $429K. Further foreign releases are staggered until January 18, 2018.
Next among newcomers to American theatres was Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express, which ended up closely behind Daddy’s Home 2in second place with $28.5 million. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in this adaptation of Agatha Christie’s revered mystery novel. He’s joined by the likes of Penelope Cruz, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Josh Gad, and Johnny Depp in this claustrophobic hunt for a savage killer aboard a luxurious train travelling from Istanbul to London. Murder built off of a strong showing in its home country, the UK, last weekend with a second frame dip of just nine percent, taking its two-week British cume to $17.5 million. A China launch was worth $19.5 million, while Russian screenings earned $5.75. Australian plays made $3 million, while showings in Germany generated $2.7 million. Total sales across the board are at $85.4 million, having well surpassed the movie’s reported $55 million budget.
However well it did in North America, overseas plays were the real boon for our overall weekend winner. Thor 3 made $75.9 million from 56 international territories and landed at a global cume of $650 million. New Zealander Taika Waititi, who’d never made a studio film before, now has directing credits on the tenth biggest movie of 2017. That ranking will almost certainly climb up a notch by the end of the week, when it should pass It’s $683 million world-wide gross. Ragnarok is already ahead of Marvel stalemates Iron Man 2, Ant-Man, and Thor: The Dark World in lifetime earnings. Justice League’s global launch next week will slow down the God of Thunder’s parade, but probably not as much as Warner Bros. would hope unless they can get the same kind of audience and critical reaction as Thor.
Also on the foreign circuit stuffed animal inspired sequel Paddington 2 made its UK launch with $11.45 million. Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Grant, and Brendan Gleeson star in this movie that sees the teddy bear Paddington frantically searching London after a perfect Christmas present for his new family is stolen. It was set to be distributed by the Weinstein Company in the US, but after the fall out from revelations about founder Harvey Weinstein’s conduct it won’t see North American theatres until January 12.
In specialty news Fox Searchlight’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri made a very strong $320K from four theaters, averaging $80,000 per screen. Even more impressive was last week’s indie champ Lady Bird moved into 37 theaters, taking $1.24 million for a solid $33K average.
Next week Warner Bros. opens their superhero ensemble movie, Justice League. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson’s Wonder goes up against it as counterprogramming.