Last week, we wrote that Halloween was coming early to American audiences, with Friday’s release of MGM’s The Addams Family. Now it looks like Christmas has come early for MGM: their cg reboot of the franchise opened strongly, exceeding all expectations.

In its first three days, the film pulled in an estimated $30.3 million domestically from just over 4,000 theaters, surpassing projections of $21–$27 million. Unadjusted for inflation, this also trumps the openings of the last two Addams Family features, both live-action films released in the 1990s. For a mid-budget cg feature that cost a modest $40 million to make, this is a very strong performance. So much so, that MGM has already dated the sequel: Oct. 22, 2021.

The Addams Family also marks an all-time best opening for United Artists Releasing, the MGM banner that distributed the film (which, admittedly, has only been releasing films since this year). It has yet to roll out overseas, where Universal Pictures holds the rights.

The film could have legs in the U.S.: as Halloween approaches, it will only become more seasonal. But that also means more competition. This coming weekend sees the opening of Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, another spooky family franchise flick, and Sony’s Zombieland: Double Tap, which could draw away older viewers.

A strong voice cast, which includes Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Snoop Dogg, surely buoyed The Addams Family at the box office. Also key to its success: directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, who can mark this as their second successful outing as a co-directing team. Their first win was Sausage Party, which proved that R-rated cg animation could succeed at the box office. Animation on Addams Family was handled by Cinesite’s Vancouver studio. The film is produced by MGM in association with Bron Creative.

For all its success, The Addams Family didn’t top the weekend box office. That accolade goes to DC Comics origin film Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, which pulled in $55.8 million in its second weekend. The blockbuster is already riding on a worldwide cume of more than half a billion dollars.

Meanwhile, Gemini Man, in which Will Smith is hunted by a younger version of himself, opened in third place with a lackluster $20.5 million. Neither Smith nor the expensive de-aging vfx could save the film from terrible reviews.

Abominable, the cg yeti adventure film from Dreamworks and Shanghai’s Pearl Studio, rounded out the top four with $6 million. Its domestic cume now stands at $47.8 million, worldwide at $109 million. Overall, it has underperformed for a Dreamworks release — and also in China, where it has taken only $14.5 million. The film’s woes multiplied this week, as the Vietnamese regime pulled it from cinemas amid a political row.

Latest News from Cartoon Brew