Box Office: 'Good Dinosaur' Heads for $55M-Plus Holiday Debut; 'Creed' Targets $40M
'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2' will beat both new entries to win the Thanksgiving holiday with $75 million, while 'Victor Frankenstein' can't be brought back to life; 'The Danish Girl' opens in New York and Los Angeles.
Black Friday was kind to the North American box office, where new Thanksgiving holiday offerings The Good Dinosaur and Creed continued to do good business after opening Wednesday.
Holdover The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 continues to dominate overall, earning $21.3 million from 4,175 theaters Friday for a projected Wednesday-Sunday take of $75 million, pushing its domestic total to nearly $200 million through Sunday.
Mockingjay 2 continues to pace behind The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1 a year ago — but it is still doing big numbers. And thanks to the strength of Creed and Good Dinosaur, holiday revenue is expected to be up over 2014.
The Good Dinosaur placed No. 2 Friday with $15.7 million from 3,749 locations for an estimated five-day debut of $55 million-plus after nabbing an A CinemaScore. That's among the best Thanksgiving openings of all time, although tracking had suggested Good Dinosaur would hit $60 million (that's still possible if Saturday's uptick is better than expected). The movie was up sharply on Friday as families became more available.
Costing between $175 million-$200 million to produce, Good Dinosaur marks the first time Pixar has ever released two films in the same year. In June, Inside Out opened to a rousing $90.4 million after earning $3.7 million in Thursday-night previews.
Disney has made a habit of launching animated fare over the Thanksgiving holiday. In 2013, Disney Animation Studios' Frozen debuted to $93.6 million, the biggest five-day Thanksgiving opening of all time. One exception was last year, when DreamWorks Animation claimed the holiday with Penguins of Madagascar, which opened to a disappointing $35.4 million for the five days.
MGM and New Line's Creed, boasting rave reviews and an A CinemaScore, is doing better than expected. The movie — a Rocky reboot of sorts starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone — grossed $11.7 million from 3,284 theaters Friday for an estimated five-day debut of $40 million-$41 million, putting it at No. 3.
Reuniting up-and-coming director Ryan Coogler with his Fruitvale Station leading man (Jordan), Creed stars Stallone as the aging Rocky Balboa, who agrees to train the son of Apollo Creed, played by Jordan. The $35 million film is being released by Warner Bros.
The holiday's third new movie, Paul McGuigan's Victor Frankenstein, is DOA. Revisiting the classic story from the perspective of Igor (Daniel Radcliffe), the $40 million Fox movie will open outside the top 10 with a dismal five-day gross in the $3.5 million range from 2,797 theaters. It's the latest 2015 title to post one of the worst openings of all time for a major studio release.
Victor Frankenstein, starring James McAvoy as Dr. Frankenstein, was supposed to open in October 2014, then in January. It was moved a final time to Thanksgiving.
New offerings at the Thanksgiving specialty office include Tom Hooper's The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander. Opening Friday, Danish Girl is expected to earn north of $200,000 for the weekend, putting its location average at a strong $50,000.
Todd Haynes' Carol continues to prosper in its second weekend of play in New York and Los Angeles, targeting a Wednesday-Sunday gross of $264,000 for a location average of $66,000.
Nov. 28, 7:45 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers.