A fantasy musical starring Timothée Chalamet as the strange chocolatier, 'Wonka' tops box office in its first weekend, earning $39 million.
The song-and-dance movie about the strange chocolatier's early years opened to $39 million and went straight to No. 1 in North America. It opened last weekend to $43.2 million, which is a big jump at the foreign box office. The second "Wonka" movie made $53.6 million overseas, taking its total overseas earnings to $112.4 million and its total worldwide earnings to $151.4 million.
Besides the US and Canada, the top areas are the UK, which has brought in $23.2 million so far, Mexico, which has brought in $11.2 million, and Germany, which has brought in $8.6 million.
Timothée Chalamet as Wonka
The first weekend of "Wonka" brought in $39 million at the box office in the U.S. and Canada, according to figures released by the studio on Sunday. That was a great start for the Timothée Chalamet-led Willy Wonka musical, which showed how popular the young star is.
In recent years, musicals have had a hard time getting people to go to the theater. Warner Bros. played down the song and dance parts of "Wonka" in the ads. Chalamet, the 27-year-old actor who had his second No. 1 movie with "Wonka" after "Dune" in 2021, was given more attention by the company. The first movie made $41 million in its first weekend.
"Dune" was a big, star-studded sci-fi adventure, but "Wonka" is mostly about Chalamet's charm.
It cost about $125 million to make "Wonka," which opened in 4,203 theaters. It was also the first big Hollywood movie to come out after the end of the SAG-AFTRA actors' strike. Chalamet was the host of "Saturday Night Live" just a few days after the strike finished. A song called "Pure Imagination" played in the background as he spoke about “returning to this magical world where actors can promote their projects.”
With good reviews and high crowd scores, the family-friendly movie hopes to keep going strong during the busy holiday season to make back its money. The month of December is one of the busiest for movies, and soon "Wonka" will be up against Christmas movies like "Migration," a Universal and Illumination cartoon movie, Warner's musical version of "The Color Purple," and "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," a DC Comics sequel.
"Wonka" helps Chalamet become a bigger star. He is the third actor to play the famous Roald Dahl character, after Gene Wilder played the part in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" in 1971 and Johnny Depp did the same in the 2005 remake.
Chalamet, who is 27 years old, has been in big hits like "Dune" and indie hits like "Call Me By Your Name" and "Little Women." But "Wonka" is the kind of family movie that doesn't work unless people buy into Chalamet's songs and dances about a world of pure imagination.
The "Paddington" director Paul King directed the prequel, which stars Olivia Colman, Keegan-Michael Key, and Hugh Grant as an Oompa-Loompa. It's about Willy Wonka's early days before a poor boy named Charlie Bucket wins a golden ticket to tour the famous and heavily guarded chocolate factory.
The fact that Willy Wonka is a musical could have hurt the movie and caused it to bomb like West Side Story or Dear Evan Hansen, but this weekend's numbers show that the movie will likely do well. It probably helped that both of the previous Willy Wonka movies had singing parts, which may have prepared people for what was to come. It might do even better than The Greatest Showman, which started at $8.8 million and ended up making a total of $174.3 million in the U.S. and $434.9 million around the world.
This weekend, "Wonka," the silly story of how the imaginary chocolatier got started, was the biggest hit in theaters across the United States, with about $39 million in ticket sales.
Analysts say the singing fantasy movie is off to a good start and beat out another prequel, "Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes," to get to No. 1. It was also the biggest movie in the world when it came out, making more than $151 million.
The third Willy Wonka to appear on screen is Timothée Chalamet, who plays the title character. Johnny Depp and Gene Wilder both played the part in 1971 and 2005, so he follows in their paths.