Pixar’s “Coco” Becomes Fourth-Biggest Thanksgiving Opener


CocoBoxOfficeReport1Walt Disney Pictures

Film  Weekend Opening Weekend Current Gross
Coco (Disney/Pixar) $50.8m $50.8m $73m
Justice League (Warner Bros.) $41.1m $93.8m $171.9m
Wonder  (Lionsgate) $22.7m $27.5m $69.8m
Thor: Ragnarok (Marvel/Disney) $16.9m $122.7m $277.5m
Daddy’s Home 2 (Paramount) $13.2m $29.6m $72.6m

Note: The above numbers have been adjusted according to actual box office.

Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation opened their latest movie Coco over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, and it looks like another big hit for the studios. Coco opened in 3,987 theaters on Weds, and after scoring $2.3 mill. in Thurs. previews, Coco made $13.2 mill. that Weds. After adding another $8.9 mill. on Thanksgiving proper, the animated feature co-directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and Adrian Molina took in $50 mill. over the three-day weekend.  It ended up with $73 million for its first five days (Note: Disney’s earlier estimate has been adjusted to reflect actual box office.)

That’s lower than the $56.6 mill. opening for last year’s Moana starring Dwayne Johnson and even 1999’s Toy Story 2 ($57.8 mill.), but slightly more than 2010’s Tangled ($48.8 mill.) and 2015’s A Good Dinosaur ($39.2 mill.), a rare bomb for Pixar. Then again, the animation studio is coming off the year’s disappointing sequel Cars 3, which only grossed $152 mill. domestically after opening during the summer.

Coco added another $30.7 million in 22 overseas markets bringing the movie’s global total to $153.4 mill. It also received a very rare “A+” CinemaScore (compared to Moana‘s “A”) which points to Pixar’s latest having decent legs with very little competition over the next couple weeks.

After a single week at #1 with a relatively disappointing $93.8 million, Warner Bros’ Justice League dropped a whopping 56% for a second weekend est. of $41.1 mill. It has grossed $171.6 mill. domestically so far, which isn’t a lot, but Zack Snyder’s movie topped the overseas box office again this weekend with $71.2 mill, enough to put it over the $300 mill. mark in international markets.

The DCEU movie was helped by $8.5 mill. from IMAX screens, $3.6 mill. of its domestic from 400 such screens, bringing Justice League‘s global IMAX total to $38.1 mill.

Lionsgate’s Wonder held up better over the Thanksgiving weekend with $22.7 mill., down just 18% from its opening weekend as it has grossed just under $70 mill. in its first ten days. It’s looking like Wonder could be Julia Roberts’ first movie to top 100 million since 2010’s ensemble rom-com Valentine’s Day in 2010.

Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok dropped to fourth place with $16.8 mill. over the three-day weekend (down 23%), having grossed $277 mill. since opening earlier in November. While it’s long surpassed the gross of its predecessor Thor: The Dark World, it has a few weeks to go before it reaches the $300 mill. domestic benchmark of the Iron Man movies and last year’s Captain America: Civil War. Globally, it has grossed $790 million.

The heated battle between Paramount’s Daddy’s Home 2  and Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express continued with the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy grossing  approx. $13.22 mill. to Murder‘s $13.17 mill., and you can’t get much closer than that. Daddy’s Home has grossed $73 mill. to Orient Express’ $74 mill. so far.

Sony Pictures expanded Dan Gilroy’s Roman J. Israel Esq., starring Denzel Washington, into over 1,600 theaters on Weds and after a couple slow days, business picked up on Black Friday with $1.8 mill. for a three-day of $4.4 mill. and bringing its total to $6.2 mill. Roman J. Israel scored a bleh “B” CinemaScore, and it’s likely to be overshadowed as festival fare continues to expand nationwide.

It was still able to beat Fox Searchlight’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and ’s Lady Bird, both which expanded moderately nationwide and grossed $4.4 and $4 mill. respectively. Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird has grossed $10.7 mill. to Three Billboards’ 7.6 mill. We’ll have to see how each of these expands going into awards season.

Bleecker Street released the historic drama The Man Who Invented Christmas, starring Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens and Christopher Plummer as Ebeneezer Scrooge, as it told the story of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Opening moderately in 626 theaters on Weds. it grossed $1.8 mill. in its first five days, opening in 12th place with $1.3 mill. over the three-day weekend. That’s just $2,146 per theater which seems to point to an over-saturation of holiday movies.

After the movie spent most of the year playing film fests, Sony Pictures Classics finally released its Sundance pickup Call Me By Your Name on Friday in four theaters in New York and L.A. Directed by Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash) and starring Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg and newcomer Timothy Chalamet (who also appears in Lady Bird), the drama took in $413,000 in those four theaters, scoring the best per-theater average for the year with $103,233 per location. For comparisons, that average is just below that of Alejandro Iñarritu’s Birdman and The Revenant when they platformed; the former went on to make $43 mill. while the latter grossed a whopping $183.6 mill. In other words, the movie is in good company as it makes its way to Oscar night. (Lady Bird did $91,000 per theater while 3 Billboards ended up with $80,000 per theater.)

Focus Features released Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour in a similar release pattern on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the drama starring Gary Oldman as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill grossed $246,700 in its first five days with $175,000 or $43,752 per location over the three-day weekend.

Check back on Thursday for the preview of this weekend’s box office where there have been no new wide releases scheduled so far.

(Source: boxofficemojo.com. Figures represent estimated numbers at time of writing, and they may change.)

  | East Coast Editor

1 Comment

  1. Fernando Gomes Torres on

    Actually, Cars 3 did just fine since it’s made 383M worldwide on the 175M budget.

    Besides, a lot of people knew that it would end 150M-160M domestically since Despicable Me 3 was coming over two weeks after that.

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