Wonka scores a golden ticket with $3.5M in Thursday box office previews

Wonka, the latest feel-good film directed by Paddington’s Paul King, proves the Candyman can with $3.5M in Thursday box office previews.

Last Updated on December 20, 2023

Wonka, box office, previews, Thursday

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. After the Thursday preview box office totals arrived, it appears Warner Bros. Pictures‘ wallet is getting thicker! Wonka is off to a sweet start with $3.5M in previews from 3,500 locations. The candy-coated musical starring Timothée Chalamet expands to 4,203 theaters this weekend, with an estimated opening of $30M-$40M.

Wonka is one of three movies from Warners hitting theaters during the holiday season, with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Color Purple occupying screens in the lead-up to Santa’s big night. Aquaman 2 could breach the box office with $45M-$50M during its four-day debut, with The Color Purple bowing on Christmas Day with $8 million. Marketing for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been odd, considering the James Wan sequel is DC’s final film before James Gunn and Peter Safran reboot the DCU in 2025 with Superman: Legacy.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was late to the races regarding promotion, and the general audience temperature for the film’s release is tepid at best. However, the draw of Jason Momoa’s charm and Wan’s outrageous approach to the material could put asses in seats. I know I’ll see it during opening weekend alongside others excited to go under the sea with everyone’s favorite whiskey-swilling fish whisperer.

Wonka focuses on a young Willy Wonka and how he met the Oompa-Loompas on one of his earliest adventures. The prequel about the peculiar chocolatier features an A-list cast, with Olivia Colman (Secret InvasionThe Favourite), Hugh Grant (Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among ThievesNotting Hill), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of WaterBlue Jasmine), Keegan-Michael Key (The Super Mario Bros. MovieThe Predator), and Rowan Atkinson (Johnny EnglishThe Lion KingBean) starring alongside Chalamet. Ellie White, Matt Lucas, Jim Carter, Rich Fulcher, Mathew Baynton, Peterson Joseph, Natasha Rothwell, Simon Farnaby, Tracy Ifeachor, and more also join the cast. Neil Hannon of the band The Divine Comedy is in charge of writing original songs for the film.

JoBlo’s Managing Editor, Chris Bumbray, reviewed the film, saying Wonka “is a great family movie for the holidays. While some may mock it as twee, everyone involved has their hearts in the right place. The fact that something so boldly sentimental and sweet still gets made is remarkable in our cynical age, so I give Wonka a big recommendation for that alone.”

Do you plan on purchasing a Golden Ticket to Wonka this weekend? Are you impressed by Wonka‘s Thursday box office preview total? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.