‘Office Christmas Party’ Can’t Topple ‘Moana’ At Box Office

By December 11, 2016
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Sorry, Paramount Pictures, but it looks like Disney found a way to best you yet again.

Paramount’s raunchy holiday comedy Office Christmas Party could not get enough partygoers to the box office this weekend, as its $17.5 million fell short of besting the $18.8 million from Moana in weekend box office estimates from The Numbers.

Moana has now been the No. 1 film for the third week in the row, while Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them slipped to third after a $10.8 million weekend. Fantastic Beasts is now just short of the $200 million mark domestically, while Moana grows its 19-day total to $145 million.

Office Christmas Party – which stars Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn and T.J. Miller – did not get a warm reception from critics, splatting in Rotten Tomatoes list of critics with just a 43 percent approval. Of more than 10,750 people who watched the movie, only a little more than half would recommend it.

The top five films of the week earned $57.4 million, up from a year ago when once again The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 ruled the box office and In the Heart of the Sea opened to a weak $11.1 million. The top five are down, however, from last week, which earned $67.4 million. Ticket sales this week were up more than 11 percent from the year before, when looking at the top five films.

Two films in select theaters went wide release this week, and had respectable outings. Nocturnal Animals from Focus Features had a $3.2 million weekend, good for No. 7, while EuropaCorp’s Miss Sloane jumped more than 4,000 percent to have a $1.9 million weekend, and finish just outside the top 10.

If we were ranking films by how much they were making on a screen-by-screen basis, the title would not go to Moana but instead to Lionsgate’s La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. The musical earned just $855,000 to finish at No. 15 – but it was only playing in five theaters (compared to nearly 4,000 theaters for Moana). That means it earned a whopping $171,000 per screen.

That’s the first film since Moonlight on the weekend of Oct. 21 to crack the $100,000 mark. By comparison, Office Christmas Party earned just $5,400 per screen.

It all will change next week, however. And do we really need to tell you why? OK, just in case, we’ll whisper it: Rogue One debuts. And it has some tough Stormtrooper boots to fill.

Rogue One premieres exactly one year after Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opened with a massive $248 million, leading to a $286.9 million weekend. While no one expects a Star Wars anthology film to do as well as a series film, there are hopes that it could have a $130 million domestic weekend. Based on early ticket sales and some hype surrounding the film, it might be able to achieve just that.

Warner Bros. is planning some alternatives for theatergoers next weekend with Collateral starring Will Smith and Helen Mirren. Lionsgate also will expand La La Land to a wide release.

Doctor Strange added another $4.6 million to its totals, bringing its North American box office stash to $222.4 million. Trolls, which fell to No. 9, earned $3.1 million this weekend, bringing its total to $145.5 million.

Bad Santa 2 is falling hard. Its $1.2 million was barely strong enough to keep it in the top 15, and has now earned $16.8 million in 19 days.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael has spent more than 18 years of his way-long journalism career in entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based in New York City.