‘Violent Night’ Outperforms Box Office Projections, Has Strong Weekend Showing


The weekend saw another box office victory for the Marvel Studios sequel, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," which was not so surprising. However, another new movie that actually over-performed over the weekend was the R-rated action-comedy "Violent Night," and it actually performed above industry expectations, as noted by Deadline.


"Violent Night" was receiving early box office projections of about $10-$12 million. It actually finished with about $13.5 million, well above industry projections. While that amount may not seem like a lot, it's a good number for a film like this, with a reported $20 million budget. Additionally, the film has already grossed that amount worldwide, so it's well on its way to achieving profitability for Universal Pictures.

The new R-rated film is a bit of an oddball. It stars David Harbour of "Stranger Things" fame playing the "real" Santa Claus, who has grown cynical and jaded after working his job for years, lowering his Christmas spirit. When he ends up in a house during one of his Christmas night stops, it's a compound for a wealthy family that has been taken hostage by some evil mercenaries, so it's up to Santa Claus to save the day.


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David Harbour
David Harbour

"Violent Night" night ended up performing decently enough with critics, finishing with a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it scored even better with audiences at 90 percent. Audiences definitely seemed enamored with this irreverent take, combining the style of "Die Hard" action movies and sentimental Christmas family films.

According to Deadline, Universal executives liked the screenplay for the film so much, after taking it home over the weekend, they came back and gave the film the green light the following Monday. The film boasts a script written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller, who have also recently found success with the "Sonic the Hedgehog" films at Paramount.

Elsewhere, as noted earlier, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" topped the box office charts yet again this weekend. The film added about another $17.5 million to its domestic take, bringing its current total to $393.6 million. The film should easily cross the $400 million mark shortly.

David Harbour2
David Harbour2

Based on the domestic numbers, it's now the 11th-highest-grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe picture ever. It's also brought in over $732 million worldwide and appears well on its way to crossing over $800 million.

These numbers do not appear too surprising. As noted by The Blast, the field for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" looked light in November and December. "Wakanda Forever" will likely continue dominating the box office until James Cameron's "Avatar: The Way of Water" arrives on December 16. Even with "Violent Night" outperforming expectations, that was not enough for it to topple "Wakanda Forever."

Stranger Things and Upcoming Black Widow star David Harbour looks busy on the phone after having lunch in NYC.

By that point, the "Black Panther" sequel will have largely finished up its theatrical run, and Disney can continue raking in the benefits of its recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios).

"Violent Night" is in theaters now. The film stars Harbour, John Leguizamo, and Beverly D'Angelo. It's directed by Tommy Wirkola from a script by Casey and Miller.