‘Strange’ and ‘Trolls’ top robust weekend box office
The top two movies were holdovers. The superhero movie “Doctor Strange” was again No. 1, taking in an estimated $43 million, for a two-week total of $153 million and nearly $500 million worldwide. The animated “Trolls” sold about $35.1 million in tickets, for a two-week domestic total of $94 million.
Then came a pair of new films.
Paramount Pictures, showing signs of life after a dreary run, powered Denis Villeneuve’s understated “Arrival” to roughly $24 million in ticket sales, a strong total that easily surpassed what most analysts had predicted. “Arrival,” a science-fiction mystery about a linguist tasked with decoding alien signals, received exceptional reviews, which helped turn out an older audience; 85 percent of ticket buyers were over 25.
Starring Amy Adams and produced by a team that included Shawn Levy, “Arrival” was independently financed by Lava Bear and FilmNation for about $47 million. Paramount paid $20 million for certain rights.
“Almost Christmas” arrived to a solid $15.6 million in ticket sales. A comedic drama with a predominantly black cast, “Almost Christmas” cost about $17 million to make. Reviews leaned toward the negative, but audiences gave the film an A-minus in CinemaScore exit polls.
Also of note: “Shut In,” a $10 million thriller starring Naomi Watts that received a hard-to-achieve 0 percent positive score on the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregation site, arrived to a dismal $3.7 million in ticket sales; “Moonlight” continued to dominate the limited-release marketplace, generating about $5 million at the box office ahead of its nationwide expansion next weekend. AP