“Doctor Strange,” “Arrival” and “Troll”s Bolsters Theater Box Office Take

“Arrival,” the alien spine-chiller packed theaters with sci-fi devotees, with its debut at the box office, riding the coattails of sparkling media critic reviews and “Marvel’ Comics “Doctor Strange” continued for a second straight weekend with top honors at the box office.


Racking up receipts of $43 million, the Marvel superhero film has now broken the $150 million benchmark and “Trolls,” A DreamWorks Animation production, pulled in $35 million in box office receipts, came in second and is nearing $100 million, after showing for two weeks.


“Arrival” placed third surpassing studio box office estimates, bringing in a respectable $24 million, more than the original debut estimate of $16 million. Arrival is the latest addition to director Denis Villeneuve’s stable of hits such as “Prisoners” and “Sicario.”

The storyline for “Arrival” has an attempt to communicate with aliens, with Amy Adams, portrayed as a linguist, reaching out to make its first attempt to engage an alien society. Production costs for “Arrival” neared $50 million with funding from 21 Laps, FilmNation and Lava Bear. The arrival of “Arrival” at the box office is a much-needed kick in the pants for Paramount, as it has floundered with duds such as “Ben-Hur,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” and “Zoolander 2.”


Not to be outdone by Paramount, “Almost Christmas,” Universal’s holiday season contribution made its box office debut, at nearly 2400 locations nationwide, taking in a decent $15.6 million, in fourth place. The holiday comedy brings theater-goers into the homes and lives of a typical dysfunctional American family. “Almost Christmas” showcases the talents of Danny Glover, Kimberly Elise, Jessie Usher and Gabrielle Union.


The top five was capped off with Liongate’s “Hacksaw Ridge,” coming in just short of $11 million in its second week in theaters and totaling just over $32 million for its two-week stint.


Insider industry observers see a healthy holiday season at the box office with all major studio’s releasing thrillers’ comedies and feel-good films.