Justice League heroes gang up on Thor

Posted: November 24, 2017 at 1:46 a.m.

Ezra Miller stars as the Flash, Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman in the Warner Bros. action adventure Justice League. It led the box office last weekend and made about $94 million.

LOS ANGELES -- In a superhero showdown, the combined forces of Warner Bros.' Justice League was enough to topple Thor: Ragnarok from the top spot at the box office, despite a soft opening for the DC Comics mashup.

Justice League grossed about $94 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to ComScore, below predictions of $110 million.

The film, which earned a B plus on CinemaScore and a 40 percent "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, opened below the studio's previous iterations of Batman movies starring Ben Affleck (Suicide Squad at $133.7 million and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice at $166 million), plus Man of Steel ($116.6 million) and Wonder Woman ($103.2 million).

"It's not where you start, it's where you end up," said Jeff Goldstein, the studio's distribution chief. "We always knew it would be complicated when you take a movie where you're introducing three new characters that have not been on the screen before. It's more or less their origin story: Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. Clearly, the audiences have really just embraced each one of these characters."

Warner Bros. declined to give a budget for Justice League, which was co-financed by RatPac-Dune Entertainment, but people close to the project estimated it cost about $300 million to make, not factoring in marketing spending.

The picture also stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ezra Miller as the Flash. The next live-action DC movie from Warner Bros. is Aquaman, set for December 2018.

In second place, Lionsgate's Wonder brought in $27.5 million in its first week, well above analysts' predictions of $9 million. The film, about a boy trying to cope with a facial deformity, earned an A plus on CinemaScore and an 84 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Disney's Thor: Ragnarok slipped to third place in its third week, grossing about $22 million.

In fourth place, Paramount's Daddy's Home 2 brought in $14.4 million in its second week.

Rounding out the top five, Fox's Murder on the Orient Express remake took in about $14 million in its second week.

Also new over the weekend, Columbia's animated Nativity picture, The Star, took in about $10 million.

The latest faith-based effort from Columbia Pictures' successful Affirm label, the $20 million film is about a young donkey's role in the first Christmas. The Star earned positive reviews from audiences and critics, garnering an A rating on CinemaScore and a 62 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In limited release, A24's comedy drama Lady Bird added 201 locations and brought in an additional $2.5 million.

Fox Searchlight expanded Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri into 49 additional locations, earning $1.1 million.

Columbia's Roman J. Israel, Esq opened in four theaters with $65,000. Starring Denzel Washington, the movie earned a 55 percent "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This week, Disney opens Coco and Sony Classics premieres Call Me by Your Name in limited release.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:

  1. Justice League, Warner Bros., $93,842,239, 4,051 locations, $23,165 average, $93,842,239, 1 week.

  2. Wonder, Lionsgate, $27,547,866, 3,096 locations, $8,898 average, $27,547,866, 1 week.

  3. Thor: Ragnarok, Disney, $21,669,600, 4,060 locations, $5,337 average, $247,265,770, 3 weeks.

  4. Daddy's Home 2, Paramount, $14,435,710, 3,575 locations, $4,038 average, $50,212,157, 2 weeks.

  5. Murder on the Orient Express, 20th Century Fox, $13,807,562, 3,354 locations, $4,117 average, $51,735,924, 2 weeks.

  6. The Star, Columbia, $9,812,674, 2,837 locations, $3,459 average, $9,812,674, 1 week.

  7. A Bad Moms Christmas, STX Entertainment, $7,000,378, 2,948 locations, $2,375 average, $51,022,533, 3 weeks.

  8. Lady Bird, A24, $2,516,399, 238 locations, $10,573 average, $4,688,874, 3 weeks.

  9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Fox Searchlight, $1,102,166, 53 locations, $20,796 average, $1,536,391, 2 weeks.

  10. Jigsaw, Lionsgate, $1,081,772, 1,201 locations, $901 average, $36,462,005, 4 weeks.

  11. MET Opera: The Exterminating Angel (2017), Fathom Events, $950,000, 900 locations, $1,056 average, $950,000, 1 week.

  12. Blade Runner 2049, Warner Bros., $626,039, 466 locations, $1,343 average, $89,276,502, 7 weeks.

  13. Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, Lionsgate, $471,319, 718 locations, $656 average, $46,649,659, 5 weeks.

  14. Geostorm, Warner Bros., $410,166, 502 locations, $817 average, $32,669,328, 5 weeks.

  15. Loving Vincent, Good Deed Entertainment, $403,603, 212 locations, $1,904 average, $4,641,218, 9 weeks.

  16. Let There Be Light, Atlas Distribution Co., $362,598, 542 locations, $669 average, $6,738,588, 4 weeks.

  17. The Florida Project, A24, $299,566, 217 locations, $1,380 average, $4,306,658, 7 weeks.

  18. The Lego Ninjago Movie, Warner Bros., $255,248, 455 locations, $561 average, $58,938,889, 9 weeks.

  19. Only the Brave, Columbia, $242,406, 363 locations, $668 average, $17,655,285, 5 weeks.

  20. Happy Death Day, Universal, $224,815, 427 locations, $526 average, $55,398,005, 6 weeks.

MovieStyle on 11/24/2017