'Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri' makes a strong showing in limited release

By Oliver Gettell
November 12, 2017 at 02:43 PM EST

Daddy's Home 2

  • Movie

The god of thunder is still making rain. Thor: Ragnarok is on track to gross an estimated $56.6 million during its second weekend in U.S. and Canadian theaters, continuing its box office domination as Daddy’s Home 2 and Murder on the Orient Express battle for the No. 2 spot. That activity should come as welcome news in Hollywood after a sluggish October.

Bolstered by strong reviews and good word of mouth (as evidenced by an A CinemaScore) Ragnarok is poised to decline 54 percent from its debut weekend, bringing its domestic total to $211.6 million after 10 days in theaters. The film, which marks the third installment of Disney’s Thor franchise and the 17th film in the Marvel cinematic universe, has also grossed about $438.5 million overseas, with $75.9 million of that coming in this weekend.

Taika Waititi directed Ragnarok, which finds Chris Hemsworth’s hammer-wielding superhero teaming up with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk to battle the goddess of death, Hela (Cate Blanchett). Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, and Jeff Goldblum also costar.

Credit: Marvel Studios

In a showdown for second place, Paramount’s comedy sequel Daddy’s Home 2 is edging out Fox’s whodunit Murder on the Orient Express, with both movies coming in at the higher end of analysts’ projections.

Daddy’s Home 2 is on track to take in about $30 million — higher than the estimated $28.2 million of Orient Express but 23 percent lower than the $38.7 million managed by the original Daddy’s Home in 2015. Like its predecessor, Daddy’s Home 2 has been shredded by movie critics, although it fared better with moviegoers, earning an A-minus CinemaScore (an improvement on the original’s B-plus).

Once again starring Will Ferrell as a mild-mannered stepfather who engages in a rivalry with with his wife’s macho ex-husband (Mark Wahlberg), Daddy’s Home 2 ups the ante by bringing in those characters’ own dads, played by John Lithgow and Mel Gibson. Sean Anders returned to direct.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Murder on the Orient Express, meanwhile, is close behind despite receiving mixed reviews and a tepid B CinemaScore. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, the mystery comes as the second big-screen adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel about a seemingly inexplicable slaying aboard a snowbound train. The ensemble cast includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, and Leslie Odom Jr.

In line for fourth place is another comedy sequel, STX’s A Bad Mom’s Christmas. It’s on track to gross about $11.5 million, which represents a decline of just 31 percent from its debut last weekend, suggesting the film could have staying power. Lionsgate’s horror reboot Jigsaw rounds out the top five with an estimated $3.4 million.

In limited release, Fox Searchlight’s critically acclaimed black comedy Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri is poised to take in about $320,000 from just four locations; that works out to a per-theater average of $80,000, one of the highest such figures of the year. Directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges), the film stars Frances McDormand as a grieving mother who calls out local authorities for their lack of progress in finding her daughter’s killer.

Also on the specialty front, Greta Gerwig’s buzzed-about directorial debut, Lady Bird, is set to crack the top 10 in its second weekend, with an estimated $1.2 million from just 37 theaters. A24 released the coming-of-age tale, starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Tracy Letts.

According to ComScore, overall box office is down 4.9 percent year-to-date. Check out the Nov. 10-12 figures below.

1. Thor: Ragnarok — $56.6 million
2. Daddy’s Home 2 — $30 million
3. Murder on the Orient Express — $28.2 million
4. A Bad Moms Christmas — $11.5 million
5. Jigsaw — $3.4 million
6. Boo 2: A Madea Halloween — $2.1 million
7. Geostorm — $1.5 million
8. Blade Runner 2049 — $1.4 million
9. Happy Death Day — $1.3 million
10. Lady Bird — $1.2 million

Daddy's Home 2

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Sean Anders