The box office of 2018 has a new worst weekend of the year, and the numbers were fairly low in comparison to all others before it. The December 7 weekend had an embarrassing showing according to Box Office Mojo, only pulling in $83 million during a holiday season when theaters normally see a bump in attendance. There always has to be a loser, and it looks like that honor will go to December 7 weekend as the rest of the weekends of the year have big openers that should outshine $83 million.
This weekend is only one of three in 2018 with showings of less than $100 million, with the other being the weekends of August 31 ($99 million) and September 21 ($92 million). December 7 weekend is a far cry away from $92 million, but several reasons have contributed to its weak domestic gross.
What will always hurt a box office weekends numbers is the lack of a premiere, which is just what happened this time around. Ralph Breaks the Internet had the biggest gross of the weekend with $15 million in its third week, while The Grinch pulled in a respectable $15 million in its fifth week. Creed II held strong with $10 million in its third week, with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald earning a modest $6.8 million in its fourth week. Bohemian Rhapsody bottomed out the top five with just over $6 million for its sixth week.
With the five biggest films of the weekend being on their third week or higher, December 7 weekend had no chance of bringing in big numbers. With three new films debuting December 14, the box office should have a solid pick up after this weekend’s poor showings. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, The Mule, and Mortal Engines won’t have massive openings as other movies have throughout the year, but will bring in heavy enough numbers to help break the $100 million barrier. Aquaman, Bumblebee, and Mary Poppins Returns will all hit theaters on December 21, likely making for one of the biggest weekends of the year.
According to Box Office Mojo, only 42 movies were accounted for this weekend, which is by far the lowest of the year. Most weekends in the United States see over 100 films in theaters, which contributes to the gross earnings. The only other weekend with a low output of films came January 12-15 with just 71 movies. That weekend had great numbers, however, due to the massive success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and the The Post, which was nominated for an Academy Award.