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May 27, 2024

‘Wonka’ Regains Box Office Crown On Final Weekend of 2023, Pushing Yearly Ticket Sales to Over $9 Billion

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Jan 1, 2024

Timothée Chalamet’s “Wonka” reclaimed the top spot at the domestic box office in its third weekend, ousting “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” on New Year’s weekend and ending 2023 as the number one film. With strong holiday multiples propelling several holdover titles, overall yearly ticket sales in North America crossed $9 billion for only the second time ever.

‘Wonka’ Rises Back to #1 With $24 Million Weekend

“Wonka” took in an estimated $24 million over the weekend and $30 million for the four days. That was enough to bring its 17-day domestic total to $114 million, making it one of the top grossing films released in the last quarter of the year.

While far below initial projections, the film has shown strong legs after a disappointing start, especially over Christmas week. Positive word-of-mouth is driving momentum, as audiences seem to appreciate Chalamet’s offbeat portrayal of the eccentric chocolatier.

Industry analyst Paul Dergarabedian noted the film’s comeback: “A terrific hold for ‘Wonka’ shows the power of the holiday season to drive momentum well after opening weekend has passed.”

‘Aquaman 2’ Struggles in Second Weekend

In contrast, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” continues to sink quickly after topping the charts last weekend. The DC superhero sequel took in an estimated $17 million over the weekend frame. That’s a painful 67% drop from its opening, giving the Jason Momoa-starrer just $72 million domestically after 10 days.

Unlike other recent DC films that opened well before quickly losing steam, “Aquaman 2” will fail to cross the $100 million mark at home. It may struggle to reach $80 million total unless it shows unexpected endurance.

While the sequel is performing better overseas with a $258 million global cume so far, it marks a significant decline from 2018’s “Aquaman” which grossed over $1 billion globally.

Total 2023 Box Office Surges Past $9 Billion

Despite a very weak January and February, the 2023 box office recovered strongly after the spring led by films like “Top Gun: Maverick.” Buoyed by a slate of well-received crowd pleasers in the fall and winter holidays, North America’s yearly ticket sales officially crossed the coveted $9 billion threshold this weekend for only the second time.

Industry analysts think that the final 2023 total will land around $9.3 billion, which would be the highest yearly gross since the record-breaking 2019 pre-pandemic year at $11.4 billion.

Paul Dergarabedian commented: “Crossing $9 billion is an incredible achievement and strong positive sign for the industry’s recovery even if not quite back to pre-pandemic levels.”

Promising Slate Sets Up Strong 2024 Start

With “Wonka” gaining word-of-mouth momentum, other acclaimed titles like “The Color Purple” musical and the indie hit “Migration” will also continue playing into January.

Meanwhile, 2024 is already off to a promising start with anticipated films like Keanu Reeves’ “John Wick: Chapter 4,” M. Night Shyamalan’s “Knock at the Cabin,” and the new “Scream” releasing in the next two months. Disney’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” later in spring is also generating huge buzz.

If that strong early 2024 slate keeps momentum going, there are optimistic hopes the industry could top $10 billion this year for the first time since the pandemic recovery began.

Industry analyst Gitesh Pandya summed up the promising outlook: “A very healthy mix of blockbuster sequels, comedies, horror and family fare slate the first quarter of 2024 which could generate enough hits to put the overall yearly box office within reach of the elusive $10 billion mark again.”

Domestic Box Office Rankings This Weekend

Film Weekend Gross Total Gross Week #
Wonka $24 million $114 million 3
Aquaman 2 $17 million $72 million 2
The Color Purple $13 million $35 million 2
Migration $10 million $17 million 7
Puss in Boots $7 million $167 million 7

That concludes this breaking news report on ‘Wonka’ retaking the top domestic box office spot on the final weekend of 2023, capping a year where total ticket sales recovered strongly to over $9 billion. Please check back for further updates.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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