So this is the new year, and the weekend box office numbers don’t look any different. Well, they look a little different, in the sense that there are a couple of names that weren’t there the last time we checked in, but everything still feels pretty much the same as it has for the last few months. For those who need a refresher, here’s how this has been working since theaters in the U.S. started reopening: One new movie comes out each week and makes okay money that is still nowhere near what a big a movie would make pre-pandemic, while every other movie drops waaayyy down. If no new movie comes out, the previous week’s top movie holds on while still making significantly less money. Basically, it’s an extremely untenable situation where studios are reluctant to release too many big movies, people are reluctant to risk their lives and the lives of others by going to see movies that aren’t a big deal, and the theater industry needs people to keep coming to see movies to stay afloat. Each side is only getting what it wants by depriving another side of what it wants (a.k.a. capitalism).
That brings us to Wonder Woman 1984, which is technically the first film to come out under Warner Bros.’ Christoper Nolan-defying plan to simultaneously release all of its new movies in 2021 on HBO Max and in theaters (keeping everyone happy in theory, if not in practice). This was Wonder Woman 1984's second week on the charts after getting released on Christmas, and so far it’s already made a relatively impressive $28.5 million. Without knowing how many people are streaming it on HBO Max, this seems to indicate that—though it’s the only example on the books—Warner Bros.’ scheme seems to be working. The movie is available to stream without putting anyone’s life in danger, and yet it still made okay money. And it’s getting a sequel!
Elsewhere on the charts we have The Croods: A New Age, which made $2.1 million (for a total of $34 million), and News Of The World, which joined Wonder Woman on the list last week and has made a total of $5.4 million. Then we have Monster Hunter, which has the unique burden of being a video game movie that is only in theaters during a pandemic, so it should be praising the movie gods that it’s making anything at all ($1.2 this week, $5.4 million total). Rounding out the top five is Fatale, which added only $700,000 to its $3 million total.