The Grinch Scores Biggest Opening Weekend For A Christmas Movie

The Grinch, Illumination Entertainment's adaptation of the classic Dr. Seuss tale, scored the all-time biggest opening weekend for a Christmas movie. Decades after his original introduction, the character of the Grinch remains a staple of pop culture and has already been brought to the big screen successfully twice before. The 1966 TV movie remains a holiday classic, and Ron Howard's live-action retelling was the highest-grossing film domestically of 2000. It's understandable why Universal was interested in pursuing yet another iteration, hoping to capitalize on the property's popularity.

In addition to the recognizability of the brand, The Grinch seemed destined to do well because it was coming out at just the right time. Not only has there been a dearth of animated family films the last several months, but the title was also seasonally appropriate since the 2018 holidays are right around the corner. Audiences were certainly in an early festive mood, as they turned The Grinch into a big hit.

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According to Box Office MojoThe Grinch earned $66 million during its first three days in the U.S. That is far and away the largest debut for a Christmas themed film, topping (coincidentally enough) Howard's How the Grinch Stole Christmas ($55 million). It performed a bit below the projections, but it still beat the original Despicable Me's opening weekend.

As alluded to above, The Grinch's release window was close to perfect. This allowed the film to overcome a somewhat lukewarm critical reception, where reviews were generally positive, but far from glowing. Being an Illumination project might have helped as well, since the studio is now firmly established as one of the main power players in the animation realm. They have a string of hits under their belt, building a loyal following that obviously enjoys their approach. Only one of their movies to date (2011's Hop) failed to pass the $200 million mark domestically, so The Grinch should be in great shape for the remainder of its run. It's worth noting that Ralph Breaks the Internet will eat into The Grinch's target demographic, but the latter is off to a good start. The Grinch's worldwide gross of $78.7 million surpasses the movie's $75 million budget.

The Grinch also took advantage of limited competition. Neither of the weekend's other new releases left much of an impact; Overlord came in third place with $10.1 million and The Girl in the Spider's Web had to settle for $8 million in fifth place. The other spots in the top five consisted of holdovers. Last week's champ Bohemian Rhapsody came in second with $30.8 million (a respectable 39.6 percent drop), and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms grossed $9.5 million.

More: Does The Grinch Have An After-Credits Scene?

Source: Box Office Mojo

Key Release Dates
  • The Grinch (2018) release date: Nov 09, 2018
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