AceShowbiz - "The Grinch" has got an early Christmas present with a victory at box office after its early arrival. Universal Pictures and Illumination's animated take on Dr. Seuss' classic holiday tale raked in an estimated $66 million in the U.S. and Canada from Friday through Sunday (November 9-11).
The movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the grumpy, green creature posted the third biggest domestic opening for Seuss movies after Ron Howard's 2000 live-action take "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", which opened to $85.1 million, and "The Lorax", which debuted to $81 million in 2012, after adjusting for inflation.
Made with a reported $75 million budget, it is expected to add $12.7 million from international markets this weekend. Directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney, the yuletide-themed movie has got mixed reviews from critics, but it's well received by moviegoers who gave it an A-minus CinemaScore.
"Our marketing was eye-catching and unique," said Universal's president of domestic distribution Jim Orr of the film's successful debut. "It took full advantage of the character. It was purposeful because we knew we had a big property."
Boosted by the animated movie's release, this year's box office has reached a total of $10 billion faster than in any other year. " 'The Grinch' is just the latest in a string of over-performers," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. " 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was bigger than expected, 'A Star Is Born' was bigger than expected. It's fueling a box-office surge."
"The Grinch" easily beat "Bohemian Rhapsody", which now placed second with approximately $30.8 million, dropping only 39.6% from last weekend's gross. It has now crossed $100 million domestically with additional $185 million from international markets.
Other new releases didn't fare as well as "The Grinch". World War II zombie film "Overlord" from critically-acclaimed director Julius Avery and producer J.J. Abrams opened at No. 3 with an estimated $10.1 million.
Meanwhile, "The Girl in the Spider's Web", which is based on the novel of the same name by David Lagercrantz, barely made it into the top five with approximately $8 million. "A Star Is Born" trails behind the Claire Foy-starring thriller at No. 6 with $5,000 less, but that could change when the actual numbers come on Monday.
Meanwhile, "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms" fell from No. 2 to No. 4 with additional $9.6 million, or dropping 53% from last weekend.Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for Nov. 09-11: