Here's a reason for the Grinch to grin: At an estimated $66 million for the weekend, "Dr. Seuss's The Grinch" -- with Benedict Cumberbatch -- had the best opening ever for a Christmas-themed movie, reports Deadline. That beats Ron Howard's live-action film "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" with Jim Carrey, which held the previous record with a $55 million opening.
With schools and businesses closed today because of Veterans Day, "The Grinch's" holiday total could reach $70 million. (Estimates aren't in yet for Monday's box office.)
The animated movie was heavily promoted with IHOP ads (and special Grinch pancakes), Grinch-themed Amazon boxes, a Grinch filter on Snapchat, and Cumberbatch launching "The Grinch for Good" program on "The Today Show."
Meanwhile, newcomers "Overlord" (above) and "The Girl in the Spider's Web" both underperformed, but soldiers fighting Nazi zombies proved a bigger draw than Claire Foy as the new Lisbeth Salander.
The WWII/horror film earned an estimated $10.1 million. Sony reports that "Spider's Web" earned $8 million, although it may actually be closer to $7.7 million.
"Even if ["Spider's Web"] grosses 70% overseas, it’s hard to see it breaking even," a "trusted film finance source" told Deadline.
Relish Mix told Deadline one of the reasons "Spider's Web" didn't make as much as David Fincher's 2011's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo": "Moviegoers are confused as to why Rooney Mara is not returning to the series. They are also confused why the studio skipped over original entries to a lesser-known tale."
"The Girl in the Spider's Web" is a sequel to the Millennium trilogy created by Stieg Larsson. It's the first novel not written by Larsson, who passed away in 2004. While in Sweden, all three books in the trilogy have been made into movies, we never got US versions of the second and third books.
New release "The Front Runner," starring Hugh Jackman as scandal-ridden politician Gary Hart, boasted a weekend best per-screen average with $14,0000 at four NY and LA venues. But that's not great for a potential Oscar contender: Those usually average closer to $40,000 to $50,000 per screen. With so-so reviews and an Election Day opening that hurt the movie more than helped it, "The Front Runner" is unlikely to be in the running for the Oscar race this year.
In other box-office news, Queen biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" is still going strong and will hit $100 million today.
Here are the top 10 weekend estimates for November 9-11
1. "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch" (2018), $66,000,000
2. "Bohemian Rhapsody," $30,850,000
3. "Overlord," $10,100,000
4. "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms," $9,565,000
5 . "The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story," $8,015,000
6 . "A Star is Born" (2018), $8,010,000
7. "Nobody's Fool" $6,540,000
8. "Venom" (2018), $4,850,000
9. "Halloween" (2018), $3,840,000
10. "The Hate U Give," $2,070,000