Everyone loves a winner, and right now writer/director Rian Johnson is winning pretty hard at the box office with his comedy murder mystery Knives Out. What started as a modest success has turned out to be a rather amazing one, as this weekend has marked two massive milestones hit by the film. Not only has the ensemble mystery crossed $100 million in the domestic market, but its worldwide total has pushed past the $200 million mark.
Released in the US on November 27th, Knives Out has made a pretty solid amount of money out of consistently fruitful showings every weekend since its’ debut. Opening with a debut weekend of $26.7 million, Johnson’s film fell in the sweet spot of pre-release estimates that pegged the film with a $25-$30 million opening.
But according to a recent report from Variety, Christmas was really good for the adventures of Daniel Craig’s eccentric detective Benoit Blanc. So good that the film pulled in another $16 million at home, on top of international grosses that saw similar numbers filing in.
Internationally, China has been the top performer for Knives Out’s global road trip, with $27.9 million headed into the bank after this weekend. The party doesn’t stop there either, because Germany and Japan won’t be getting the film in their theaters until January, which means there’s still fresh markets to be tapped with this all-star cast’s madcap antics.
While the box office is still being dominated by director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the extended success of Knives Out reaffirms the faith in two key methods smaller films of its ilk count on for success. Let’s not forget, Rian Johnson’s riff on Agatha Christie style mysteries opened roughly a week after Frozen II’s earth-shattering opening, which means it’s continued to perform brilliantly in the shadow of two Disney juggernauts that have made the sort of money that studio’s blockbusters are now expected to make.
So not only can a film of original IP still make a splash with the big kids, but Knives Out is also proof that counterprogramming works when you play the game the right way. With Variety’s report citing the film’s success to folks who have aged out of the target audiences for both of those previously mentioned blockbusters, and the PG-13 rating allowing younger viewers who aren’t into those films an option as well. So the timing couldn’t have been better for Knives Out to make a killing at the movies.
As this fast and funny crime comedy is still poised to rake in even more money, there’s no telling what 2020 will bring Knives Out’s box office fortunes. Whatever the results may be when all is said and done, the ride has been amazing enough that Lionsgate and Rian Johnson should probably have a friendly conversation about bringing Benoit Blanc back to the movies, searching for the donut hole that completes a newer, trickier donut of murder.
Knives Out is still in theaters, which definitely explains part of why it’s still killing the box office.