LOS ANGELES -- Sequels and remakes dominated the box office over the holiday weekend as the top four spots went to follow-ups of popular franchises that contributed to the biggest overall Thanksgiving weekend ever.
In first place, Walt Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet premiered with an impressive $84.5 million for five days, according to figures from measurement firm Comscore.
The $175 million film easily surpassed analysts' projections of $65 million to $75 million.
The sequel to 2012's Wreck-It Ralph, which opened with $49 million before earning $471 million worldwide, sees arcade game characters Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) traveling through cyberspace in a sendup of Internet culture and Disney's own franchises. It went over well with audiences and critics, with an A-minus rating on CinemaScore and an 86 percent fresh rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
"We're very thankful for this weekend," said Cathleen Taff, who oversees Disney's theatrical distribution. "It was a fantastic start and a great way to kick off the holiday season."
The Rocky spinoff Creed II, starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, placed second with $55.8 million since Nov. 21, far surpassing the first film's Thanksgiving debut in 2015. The sequel, directed by Steven Caple Jr., has Jordan's Adonis Creed fighting the son of Ivan Drago.
"This is a timeless franchise for us at MGM, and it's a thrill to see both its legacy and new generation of audiences continue to respond to Rocky Balboa and Adonis Creed in this time when we need uplifting stories," said Jonathan Glickman, president of MGM's Motion Picture Group.
A follow-up to 2015's Creed, the sequel cost at least $40 million to make. It also earned positive reviews from audiences and critics, with an A rating on CinemaScore and an 82 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Universal's The Grinch came in third in its third weekend, adding $42 million for a cumulative $180.4 million.
Warner Bros.' Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald earned $42.9 million over five days but slipped to fourth place with $29.7 million for Friday-Sunday in its second weekend (a 52 percent drop) for a cumulative $117.1 million.
Rounding out the top five, Fox's Bohemian Rhapsody earned $19.2 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $152 million.
New over the weekend, Lionsgate's Robin Hood opened at $14.2 million, below analysts' predictions of $17 million. The big-budget revival, which cost an estimated $100 million to make, was well-received by audiences but fell flat with critics, earning a B rating on CinemaScore and a 12 percent rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
After expanding into wide release, Universal Pictures' Green Book landed at No. 9, taking in $7.4 million for five days for a cumulative $7.8 million.
In limited release, Fox Searchlight opened The Favourite last Friday with $420,000 in four theaters for an impressive per-screen average of $105,000. The period drama, which stars Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, was well-received by critics, with a 95 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
While still playing in relatively limited release -- 807 locations -- ahead of a planned wider rollout next weekend, The Front Runner (Columbia) can be declared a major box-office misfire. The film, which received mixed reviews and stars Hugh Jackman as 1988 presidential contender Gary Hart, took in about $885,000 over the five-day Thanksgiving period. The Front Runner was independently financed by Bron Studios of Canada and Creative Wealth Media.
Also of note: Alfonso Cuaron's critically acclaimed Roma played in a handful of theaters in New York and Los Angeles, part of an olive branch by its distributor, Netflix, to awards voters. Netflix declined to report ticket sales, however.
In spot checks over the weekend, it appeared that Roma played to sold-out or nearly sold-out screenings. Netflix will push Roma into a more theaters next weekend, ahead of its worldwide streaming release on Dec. 14.
This week, Sony's Screen Gems premieres the horror film The Possession of Hanna Grace.
MovieStyle on 11/30/2018
Print Headline: Ralph breaks box office, outdoes take of original