Wonka Reclaims The Box Office Top Spot From Aquaman In 2023’s Final Weekend

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Written By Sedoso Feb

The tussle between “Wonka” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is a family affair, since both movies were distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures — as is another New Year’s weekend contender, “The Color Purple.” This new adaptation of the stage musical based on Alice Walker’s novel comes from director Blitz Bazawule (“Black is King”) and was produced by Steven Spielberg, who directed the 1985 adaptation. It landed in theaters on Christmas Day, claiming the no. 1 spot with a staggering $18.5 million opening day total — the highest Christmas Day opening since 2009 and the second-highest Christmas Day opening of all time. (The record is still held by 2009’s release, “Sherlock Holmes,” which grossed $24.6 million on its festive opening day.)

“The Color Purple” is expected to land in fourth place at the New Year’s box office, and is tracking for a $16.2 million four-day weekend according to Deadline. “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” will come in second place with an estimated $26 million, and just to break up the Warner Brosopoly, Illumination/Universal Pictures’ animated adventure “Migration” is headed for third place with an estimated four-day total of $21.5 million. Rounding out the top five is Amazon MGM Studios’ “The Boys in the Boat,” a biographical rowing drama directed by George Clooney, which is tracking to make around $11.5 million as the 2024 calendars get unwrapped.

This well-rounded buffet of offerings has helped drive the 2023 box office over the $9 billion milestone as the year ends, a marked uptick from last year’s $7.32 billion domestic total, and more than double the $4.33 billion of the pandemic-blighted 2021 box office. That’s still some way off the record $11.8 billion total of 2018, but we can tentatively say that movies are back, baby!

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