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‘Wonka’ is No. 1 at the box office again

LOS ANGELES — Timothée Chalamet and “Wonka” topped the box office charts for the third time in four weekends in theaters. Warner Bros.’ The family-focused musical posted a $14.4 million increase in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday, bringing its total domestic gross to $164.7 million.

“‘Wonka’ follows in the tradition of films like ‘The Greatest Showman,'” said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst. The Hugh Jackman musical opened to under $9 million in December 2017 and grossed $435 million worldwide.

“‘Wonka’ is the perfect crowd-pleasing movie released at the perfect time, and it will ride that wave into January,” Dergarabedian said. “It’s a good time for it to hit the market.”

After ending 2023 on a high note, 2024 is off to a slower start than last year, with Universal/Blumhouse horror movie “Night Swim” the only significant new film in theaters, down nearly 16%. The film stars Wyatt Russell and Kerry Condon as a couple who own a sinister, supernatural swimming pool.

“Night Swim” grossed an estimated $12 million in its first weekend at 3,250 theaters in North America, against a reported production budget of $15 million. Including international screenings in 36 markets, “Night Swim” is on track for a $17.7 million worldwide debut.

“Not only has it performed very well at the box office, but it will also make us look at every swimming pool with a little more trepidation,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution.

Horror movies are largely impervious to criticism, but with fairly negative reviews and a C CinemaScore score, it’s unlikely to repeat the viral success of last year’s devil doll movie “M3GAN.”

“We don’t have ‘Avatar: The Way of Water,’ which completely dominated the box office a year ago, or ‘M3GAN,’ which made it a bigger weekend,” Dergarabedian said. “But it’s a little too early to tell in terms of how the year will go.”

Warner Bros. and Universal also charted at number three and four. Warner Bros.’ DC superhero movie “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” grossed $10.6 million in its third weekend, pushing its domestic gross to just over $100 million. Universal’s animated “Immigration” added $10.3 million, bringing its domestic total to $77.8 million.

Sony’s Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney romantic comedy “Nobody But You” moved into fifth place with $9.5 million, up 9% from last weekend. The film has grossed $43.7 million to date.

Cineplexes are filled with award nominees like “The Color Purple,” “Iron Claw” and “Poor Things,” and Sunday night’s Golden Globe awards could help spread awareness of these and other films.

“The Golden Globes are like a three-hour infomercial for the industry,” Dergarabedian said. “There is no downside to having a very high-profile television broadcast spotlighting the movies.”

Estimated ticket sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters from Friday through Sunday, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be announced on Monday.

1. “Wonka,” $14.4 million.

2. “Night Swim,” $12 million.

3. “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” $10.6 million.

4. “Migration,” $10.3 million.

5. “Everybody But You,” $9.5 million.

6. “Kids on the Boat” $6 million.

7. “The Color Purple” $4.8 million.

8. “Iron Claw,” $4.5 million.

9. “Ferrari,” $2.5 million.

10. “Poor Things,” $2 million.

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