Box Office: 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' Captures $44M In Debut

The Weekend's Top 3 Box Office Winners: Marvel's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" - $44M; Marvel's "Eternals" - $10.8M; "Clifford the Big Red Dog" - $8.1M.

Matt Lissauer

By Matt Lissauer

Box Office - Ecto-1 chasing Muncher in "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."

© Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

"Ghostbusters: Afterlife" was the movie to call this weekend at the box office. The spooky nostalgic comedy took the number one spot, beating expectations with $44M. The fourth entry in the nearly-40-year-old franchise, and a direct sequel to 1989's "Ghostbusters II," "Afterlife" proved there are signs of life, not just in the aging I.P., but also in broad family-friendly entertainment.

Directed by Jason Reitman, "Afterlife" claimed the second-best opening weekend of the franchise. Its $44M opening gross puts it under 2016's female-led reboot, which had captured $46M in its debut weekend. That film cost more to produce and was therefore considered a bomb when it opened. "Afterlife" benefits from positive reviews and strong word-of-mouth, with a decent 62% Rotten Tomatoes score and an "A-" CinemaScore. It's also a theatrical exclusive, which means "Afterlife" should keep performing well into the Thanksgiving weekend, where it faces more competition.

The Will Smith-led "King Richard" was the only major competition for "Afterlife." The tennis biopic shanked on its opening weekend, netting only $5.7M. It's been a struggle for adult-oriented dramas during the pandemic, and the opening performance of the awards hopeful, with its same-day drop on HBO Max, was nothing short of an unforced error for the studio. But when put into perspective, it's not all bad news for the film. "King Richard" opened stronger than W.B.'s previous adult-oriented dramas, "Cry Macho" and "The Many Saints of Newark." Moreover, the power of Will Smith, combined with an inspirational story that targets the younger side of the adult demo, should work in the film's favor, as it benefits from strong reviews and an "A" CinemaScore.

© Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

© Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Holdovers rounded out the remaining Top 5, with Marvel's "Eternals" leading the pack at Number 2. In its third week, the superhero ensemble landed $10.8M and pulled in a total of $135M. Paramount's "Clifford the Big Red Dog" lapped up an additional $8.1M taking the Number 3 slot, while "Dune" fell to Number 5 with $3.1M. Denis Villeneuve's space opera is on its way to cross $100M this week.

On the specialty side of the box office, A24's awards-hopeful "C'mon C'mon" surprised everyone with a $134K opening. This might not sound like a lot, but the film only opened in five theaters across New York and L.A. This gave the drama a better per-screen average than Searchlight's "The French Dispatch." This is a good sign for struggling arthouses as more award hopefuls open in the coming weeks, including A24's next major releases "Red Rocket" and "The Tragedy of Macbeth."

This weekend looks to provide more boom for the "Turkey Day" box office. Disney opens their original animated musical "Encanto," featuring new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda. Also ahead is MGM's star-studded awards entry "House of Gucci," starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto and Al Pacino. Sony will deliver more chills with "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City," a reboot of their popular movie franchise based on the video game series. On the specialty side, MGM is also serving up "Licorice Pizza," Paul Thomas Anderson's '70s-set coming-of-age drama starring Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, and Bradley Cooper.

Box Office Top Ten - Nov. 12-14:

  1. "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" (Sony) - $44,000,000 [NEW]
  2. "Eternals" (Disney) - $10,825,000 / Total: $135,817,163
  3. "Clifford the Big Red Dog" (Paramount) - $8,100,000 / Total: $33,512,835
  4. "King Richard" (WB) - $5,700,000 [NEW]
  5. "Dune" (WB) - $3,065,000 / Total: $98,191,988
  6. "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" (Sony) - $2,800,000 / Total: $206,500,066
  7. "No Time to Die" (MGM) - $2,705,566 / Total: $154,688,693
  8. "The French Dispatch" (Searchlight) - $970,000 / Total: $13,298,043
  9. "Belfast" (Focus Features) - $940,000 / Total: $3,436,010
  10. "Ron's Gone Wrong" (20th Century) - $888,000 / Total: $22,098,722

Box office data comes to us from Box Office Mojo.

Matt Lissauer

Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.

More from Matt Lissauer