Box Office: 'Coco' Wins as 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Waits in the Wings

LOS ANGELES, Dec 10 (Variety.com) - With anticipation building for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," Disney-Pixar's animated comedy "Coco" handily won its third straight crown at a moderate North American box office with $18.3 million at 3,748 sites.

"Coco" joined "The Hitman's Bodyguard," "Fate of the Furious" and "Split" as 2017 titles to top the domestic box office for three weekends in a row. The major studios have held off on any new openings since the Thanksgiving holiday but that changes on the evening of Dec. 14 when previews start for Disney-Lucasfilm's "The Last Jedi" amid expectations of an opening weekend in the $200 million range.

"Coco," a colorful celebration of Mexico's Day of the Dead, showed impressive holding power with a 33% decline from its second weekend to lift its 19-day total to $135.5 million. It's performed similarly to Disney's animated "Moana," which opened at the same time last year and had totaled $144.7 million after three weekends.

There was a single wide opening this weekend with Broad Green Pictures' final movie, "Just Getting Started," showing little traction with moviegoers with $3.2 million at 2,146 locations. "Just Getting Started," an action comedy starring Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones, wound up in 10th place behind A24's sixth weekend of awards contender "Lady Bird" with $3.5 million at 1,557 venues.

The fourth weekend of Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment's superhero team-up "Justice League" finished with about half of "Coco" with $9.6 million at 3,508 locations. "Justice League" has taken in $212.1 million in 24 days and is the 10th biggest movie of 2017 -- but it's also the lowest performer among the five DC Extended Universe movies. "Wonder Woman" had hit $318 million domestically at the 24-day point in June.

"Justice League" has gone past $600 million worldwide with an international total of $401 million. Its performance pushed Warner Bros. past the $5 billion mark worldwide for 2017. The studio announced Sunday that it's become the first studio to cross the $2 billion mark for the year, led by "Wonder Woman" with $412 million and "It" with $327 million.

Lionsgate's third weekend of inspirational drama "Wonder" finished in third place with $8.5 million at 3,519 North American sites with a 35% decline. "Wonder" became the 27th movie of the year to cross the $100 million mark -- and one of the least costly among that group, given its $20 million budget. Production companies on the Jacob Tremblay vehicle are Mandeville Films, Participant Media, Walden Media and TIK Films.

A24's expansion of James Franco's comedy-drama "The Disaster Artist" took in a solid $6.4 million at 840 venues, up from 19 last weekend. That edged the sixth weekend of Disney-Marvel's "Thor: Ragnarok" with $6.3 million at 3,047 sites, which put its domestic total above $300 million. The third Thor movie was a key factor in November's box office staying ahead of the same month last year.