Big stuff is happening at the U.S. box office, and by “big stuff” we mean “relatively big stuff compared to this summer when nothing was happening.” For the third time in four week, a new movie has come out and taken the top spot at the box office—rather than Tenet just sitting at the top and soaking up whatever money it can—which is basically how things used to work in the old times before COVID! Does that mean that everything’s getting better and things are going back to normal? At the risk of making a bold prediction: Yes, definitely. (Note: This story was written on November 2. If things get dramatically worse in the world after that date for whatever reason, don’t judge us for our foolishness.)
The big winner this week was Come Play with Gillian Jacobs, a horror movie that our own A.A. Dowd likened to an old-fashioned Amblin romp. It made $3.1 million in its debut, more than double the take of Liam Neeson’s Honest Thief, which won last week but only made $1.3 million this week (for a total of $9.5). Of course, part of that is because there are only so many theaters open in this country, which we’ve pointed out every week now for a couple of months, so there’s a limited amount of people who even can see these movies. Also, as we’ve pointed out every week for a couple of months, going to a theater isn’t necessarily safe anyway.
Continuing down the list, The War With Grandpa made a hair over $1 million (for a total of $11.2), Christopher Nolan’s Tenet made $885,000 (total of $53 million, which sounds like a lot but… isn’t really a lot), and The Empty Man made $561,000 (total of $2.2 million). The next three spots were taken up by Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Monsters, Inc., all three of which are on Disney+. We’re not going to judge anyone for going to see them, at least not publicly, but Disney didn’t have to rerelease all of these movies just to squeeze money out of people in the middle of a pandemic.
One other thing worth calling out (other than The New Mutants clutching on to the number 10 spot) is Alita: Battle Angel, which is apparently back in theaters and added a stunning $128,000 to its $85 million domestic total. Remember when movies used to make money like that? And Alita wasn’t even a smash-hit when it was originally in theaters! Pretty wild.