‘The Color Purple’ scores second-best Christmas debut box office ever

Taraji P. Henson stars in Warner Bros. “The Color Purple.”

Warner Bros. Discovery

It was a very Merry Christmas for Warner Bros. Discovery.

With $18.15 million in box office receipts, the studio’s newest film “The Color Purple” had the highest Christmas Day opening since 2009 and the second-largest Christmas Day opening of all time.

The film outpaced 2012’s “Les Misérables,” which snagged $18.1 million on its Christmas debut, and fell just short of the 2009 holiday opening of “Sherlock Holmes” at $24.6 million, according to data from Comscore.

Top Christmas day openers at the domestic box office

  • “Sherlock Holmes” (2009) — $24.6 million
  • “The Color Purple” (2023) — $18.15 million
  • “Les Misérables” (2012) — $18.1 million
  • “Daddy’s Home” (2015) — $15.7 million
  • “Unbroken” (2014) — $15.4 million
  • “Into the Woods” (2014) — $15.08 million
  • “Django Unchained” (2012) — $15.01 million
  • “Marley and Me” (2008) — $14.3 million

Source: Comscore

Adding ticket sales from “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” and “Wonka,” Warner Bros. Discovery held the top three spots at the box office over the holiday.

Warner Bros.’ collection of December releases runs the spectrum of genres and demographics, offering a diverse slate of entertainment for almost every moviegoing audience.

“The lineup … reflects a perfectly orchestrated staggered release of these titles over the course [of] the all-important holiday frame, and the results are most impressive,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

“The Color Purple,” whose producers include Oprah and Steven Spielberg, is based on the Broadway musical adaptation of the book-turned-movie of the same name.

The film caters to an older audience, who have been reluctant to return to cinemas in the wake of the pandemic.

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