‘Wonka’ Opens 2024 Box Office With $14.4 Million Weekend, Fourth No. 1 SuperNayr

Warner Bros.’ “Wonka” is continuing its strong run at the box office into 2024 with $14.4 million in its fourth weekend, enough to keep it No. 1 on the weekend charts over Universal/Blumhouse’s “Night Swim.”

“Wonka” now has $164 million in domestic grosses and has passed the $400 million mark worldwide. It is the first film since “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” last August to pass $400 million, showing how much the box office has been relying on a wide variety of films to pick up the slack as post-summer tentpoles like “The Marvels,” “Wish” and “Trolls Band Together” have underperformed.

“Night Swim” is just behind “Wonka” with a $12 million opening weekend from 3,250 theaters. While that is well short of the $30 million opening of Blumhouse’s January 2023 breakout hit “M3GAN” and won’t have as much legs with a C CinemaScore grade, it has the advantage of a low break-even point with a $15 million budget.

“Night Swim” comes just after the completion of the merger between Blumhouse and “M3GAN” producer James Wan’s Atomic Monster, further strengthening Blumhouse’s position as the top production company in horror. While Atomic Monster is now under Blumhouse’s roof, it will maintain its separate label and creative independence, though it is expected to continue collaborating with Blumhouse on several future titles.

While Paramount’s “Mean Girls” will provide some support next week, the box office is expected to fall into a weeks-long slump for the rest of the winter with a lack of surefire tentpoles coming in January and February. That is already proving true as overall grosses for the weekend are expected to come in at $88-90 million, down around 18% from the first weekend of 2023.

Elsewhere in the top 5, there is a narrow race for the No. 3 spot, with the edge currently going to Warner Bros./DC’s “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” with $10.6 million. The sequel won’t make half of the $1.15 billion that the first “Aquaman” did, but it has been such a rough 2023 for DC that by passing $100 million domestic and $300 million worldwide this weekend, “Lost Kingdom” has become the superhero brand’s highest grossing film of the past year.

Universal’s “Migration” is holding well domestically with $10.5 million in its third weekend. It has been a very mixed bag for this original Illumination film as it will have the legs to pass its break-even point with a reported $72 million budget, but won’t get anywhere near leggy animation hits like “Puss In Boots: The Last Wish” or “Elemental” as it holds running totals of $77.8 million domestic and $150 million worldwide.

Completing the top 5 is Sony’s “Anyone But You,” which is showing the strongest legs of any holiday release relative to its budget. With $9.5 million this weekend, the Sydney Sweeney/Glen Powell romcom actually saw a 9% increase from New Year’s weekend, as it is finding steady turnout from female moviegoers and should continue to do so through MLK weekend.

The biggest drop of the weekend goes to Warner Bros./Amblin’s “The Color Purple,” which has slid 59% from its first full weekend in theaters to $4.7 million, giving it a domestic total of $54.6 million after two weeks. The musical adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed film saw solid turnout during the holiday period from Black audiences, particularly those over the age of 55. But the strong word-of-mouth isn’t translating to other demographics, leading to the sharp drop in box office returns that has sent the film out of the top 5.

More to come…

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