Box Office: Oscar Contenders Bubble up on a Weekend “Coco” Will Win Easily

bill1“Coco” should clear $25-30 million on its second weekend, and will be over $110 million overall by midnight Sunday, winning the box office by a safe margin over “Justice League.” It’s not doing epic business, but glowing reviews and lots of parents with tykes mean this one should cruise to $200 million even if “Ferdinand” sucks away some of the wind in its sails in two weeks.

Not that there’s weeping over at Warner Brothers. “Justice League” will finish second, again, and clear $200 million by late next week.

“Thor: Ragnarok” is closing in on $300 million. Which could cause Warners to weep.

“Wonder” has turned out to be the season’s sleeper, renewing Julia Roberts’ box office currency and warm hearts to the tune of another $14 million this weekend. $75 million already, dashing towards $100.

Yes, “The Star” and “Daddy’s Home 2” and “Bad Moms Christmas” are still making money, and with no new wide releases, they’ll be around for at least another weekend or two.

But this weekend is where the box office starts to reflect the Oscar ambitions of “Awards Season” pictures and the studios backing them.

Pictures like “The Disaster Artist” and “The Shape of Water” are opening in handpicked theaters in NY and LA with an eye toward piling up buzz slowly to begin an awards season push. They need, as points out, big per-screen numbers ($50,000?) to impress and make their case. The reviews are already stellar. 

Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” is trying that limited release tack, and getting pounded. Poor reviews overall. Will anybody see it outside New York? Will anybody want to see it, in light of the highly-credible pedophilia charges renewed by Mia Farrow’s son, Ronan?

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” expanded last weekend, and cracked the top ten. It’s hitting four hundred more screens this weekend (over 1000 now) and is making a case as an across the board hit packed with nomination-worthy performances (Frances, Sam and Woody?).

“The Florida Project” opened a bit early to make its case this way, and has only earned $4 million in two months. Expect A24 to roll it into more theaters if the Golden Globes are accommodating and honor it with nominations.

New York-centered awards buzz for “The Post” and Willem Dafoe (“Florida Project”) could be prophetic, or as the usual outlier “too early to count” attention. Nobody takes The National Board of Review seriously. Not in this millennium.


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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