As expected, Universal/Illumination’s The Grinch launched at the top of the U.S./Canada box office with an estimated $66 million. It’s the first no. 1 launch for an animated film since last July when Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 3 opened in the top spot.

The Grinch, directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier, is the biggest opening ever for a Christmas-themed movie. The previous title holder was Ron Howard’s live-action version of the same story, the Jim Carrey-starring How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which opened with $55.1M on its way to $260M.

While The Grinch is on the low end of Ilumination openings, it’s the key holiday family film this season and it’s supported by a promotional partner campaign valued at $80M, so expect it to have a strong run through the holiday season.

Interesting stat about this weekend’s viewership: Hispanic audiences represented 31% of the box office, per Deadline.

Internationally, The Grinch added $12.7M, lifting its overall total to $78.7M. Most overseas markets will launch in the coming weeks.

The film’s production cost was a relatively modest $75 million, more in the range of Sony Pictures Animation productions than Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks projects.

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