As moviegoers gear up for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" on Dec. 15, Pixar's "Coco" is maintaining its box office hold for the second consecutive week, while awards contenders "Lady Bird" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" posted strong ticket sales as they expanded nationwide.
"Coco," the latest from Disney's Pixar Animation Studios, took in an estimated $26.1 million over the weekend, a 49% decline, for a cumulative total of $108.7 million, according to figures from measurement firm ComScore.
The Dia de Los Muertos-themed computer-animated movie, about a young boy who meets his ancestors in the Land of the Dead, was a hit both with audiences and critics. "Coco" earned a stellar A-plus rating on CinemaScore and a 97% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
"The movie is just beloved by audiences," said senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "Movies that generate this kind of passion among moviegoers are very rare. And the direct result of that outpouring of support for the movie is the staying power of the film and its ability to consistently draw audiences to the movie theater."
Disney's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is also expected to draw audiences to theaters in droves.
"With 'Force Awakens' having opened to $248 million a couple of years ago, that was the highest gross in a North American weekend ever," Dergarabedian said. "That's an incredibly high bar, and it was a total outlier. But the general consensus seems to be that a $200-million plus opening would not be outside the realm of possibility for 'The Last Jedi.'"
In second place, Warner Bros.' "Justice League" brought in $16.7 million in its third week, a 60% decline, for a cumulative total of $197.3 million.
The latest effort from DC Comics earned mixed reviews, with a B+ rating on CinemaScore and a 41% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ezra Miller as the Flash. After "Justice League," the next live-action DC film on the Warner Bros. schedule is "Aquaman," set for a December 2018 release.
Coming in third, Lionsgate's emotional drama "Wonder" took in $12.5 million in its third week, a 45% decline, for a cumulative total of $88 million.
The film, about a fifth-grade boy trying to cope with bullying because of a facial disfigurement, earned an A+ rating on CinemaScore and an 84% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Produced by Lionsgate, Participant Media, Walden Media and Mandeville Films for $20 million, the film stars Jacob Tremblay ("Room") and Julia Roberts.
Now in its fifth weekend, Disney's "Thor: Ragnarok" made $9.7 million, a 43% decline, for a cumulative gross of $291.4 million.
The third installment in the standalone "Thor" franchise stars Chris Hemsworth as the Norse god of thunder, tasked with saving his home planet Asgard from a formidable new invader. The film, which cost $180 million to make, also stars Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum and Tessa Thompson.
Rounding out the top five, Paramount's "Daddy's Home 2" earned $7.5 million, a 43% drop, for a cumulative $82.8 million in earnings.
The latest entry sees Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell join forces once again as co-parenting dads trying to make a memorable Christmas for the kids. The film, directed by Sean Anders, received mixed reviews from audiences and critics, earning an A- rating on CinemaScore and a 17% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Mel Gibson and John Lithgow also star.
"Lady Bird," directed by Greta Gerwig, and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," both in this season's awards conversation, expanded to additional theaters over the weekend and came in seventh and eighth, respectively. Each film brought in $4.5 million at the box office, with "Lady Bird" earning a cumulative $17.1 million and "Three Billboards" a cumulative $13.7 million.
New over the weekend, Fox Searchlight's fantasy drama "The Shape of Water," also expected to be in the Oscars mix, opened in New York in two theaters with $167,000 for a per-screen average of $83,400. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, the film stars Sally Hawkins as a mute cleaning lady working in a high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. "The Shape of Water" earned a 95% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film opens Friday in Los Angeles.
A24's "The Disaster Artist" opened in 19 theaters to $1.2 million, for a per-screen average of $64,254. Directed by and starring James Franco, the film chronicles the making of Tommy Wiseau's cult-classic "The Room" and earned a 95% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
AMA debuted Woody Allen's "Wonder Wheel" in five locations with in $140,555 in earnings, for a per-theater average of $28,111. The film earned a 41% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Next week, Broad Green Pictures opens the action comedy "Just Getting Started," starring Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones. Neon debuts the Margot Robbie-led comedy "I, Tonya" in limited release.