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“Wonka” Origin Story Tops Box Office With $39 Million Opening

NOTE: This article is 6 months old and may not include the most recent information.

Timothée Chalamet’s musical fantasy film “Wonka” debuted at #1 at the domestic box office this weekend with $39 million, according to studio estimates. The Warner Bros. prequel, which stars Chalamet as the eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka, charmed audiences and critics alike.

With a budget of $125 million, “Wonka” will need to have legs over the holidays to turn a profit. But its strong reviews (83% on Rotten Tomatoes) and “A-” CinemaScore indicate it could have staying power. Internationally, the film opened last weekend to $43 million and made another $53.6 million this weekend for a global total of $150 million so far.

“Wonka” is the third big-screen iteration of Roald Dahl’s beloved character, following Gene Wilder in 1971 and Johnny Depp in 2005. This origin story, directed by Paul King (“Paddington”), focuses on young Wonka before he opens his famous chocolate factory. It co-stars Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, Keegan-Michael Key and Hugh Grant.

In second place domestically was “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” with $6.1 million, down just 37% from last weekend. After five weeks, the Lionsgate prequel has grossed $145 million in North America and $300 million globally.

Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film “The Boy and the Heron” slid to third in its second weekend with $5.1 million, for a domestic tally of $23.1 million. The Japanese fantasy epic has earned over $100 million worldwide.

Trevor Decker
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