BOX OFFICE: A Doll Called “M3GAN” blows up, “Otto” doesn’t

Universal/Blumhouse/Atomic Monster’s killer-doll thriller “M3GAN” is in the process of premiering in the top tier of where horror movies typically land on opening weekend — a $26-28 million dollar rollout on the always-sleepy first weekend of January.

Nothing of note has opened since “Avatar: The Way of Water” came out before Christmas, and pent-up demand and great word of mouth for a thriller that plays, even if the frights are a bit thin and the leading lady’s a stiff, is making bank.

“Avatar” will win the weekend, racking up another $37 million or so, sayeth Deadline.com. By Midnight Sunday, it will have cleared the $500 million mark, just domestically. Another “King of the World” moment for Mr. Cameron.

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” is cleaning up as family audience fare, an entertaining cartoon that will collect another $10 million or so this weekend and probably clear the $100 million mark next weekend.

“A Man Called Otto” didn’t collect great reviews, but the Tom Hanks fanbase is still showing up — if in small numbers (less than 700 theaters have it this weekend) and it should mange $3.5 million or so on its first weekend in wider release.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is winding down its run in the top 5 with another $3-$3.2 million weekend.

“Babylon” is hanging around, doing $1.3 million in business and praying — probably in vain — for an awards season/Oscar noms bounce that just isn’t coming. Another $1.3, it sits at $13 million or so by Sunday night and may not clear the $20 million mark before it loses most of its screens.

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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