Box Office: 'Ralph Breaks the Internet,' 'Creed II' Fuel Record Thanksgiving Revenue
Thanksgiving turkeys include the big-budget 'Robin Hood' and 'Green Book,' while the period drama 'The Favourite' opens to huge numbers at the specialty box office.
A pair of sequels — Disney Animation Studios' Ralph Breaks the Internet and MGM's Creed II — are fueling record revenue at the Thanksgiving box office, according to early weekend estimates.
Total ticket sales for the Wednesday-Sunday holiday corridor are expected to ring up $305 million or more, eclipsing the $295 million collected during the same frame in 2013 when The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen led the pack, according to Comscore.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is now on course for a Wednesday-Sunday domestic debut of $84 million-plus, the second-best Thanksgiving opening of all time behind fellow Disney Animation's Frozen ($93.6 million), not adjusted for inflation. On Friday, the animated family film earned another $21.7 million from 4,017 theaters for a three-day total of $50.5 million.
The critically acclaimed follow-up to 2012's Wreck-It Ralph sees John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman returning to lead the voice cast, while newcomers include Gal Gadot and Taraji P. Henson. The pic received an A- CinemaScore and favorable reviews.
MGM's Creed II is likewise feasting, grossing $14.1 million on Friday for a three-day cume of $53.6 million from 3,441 locations and a projected five-day haul of $56.5 million, the best Thanksgiving opening ever for a live-action title.
The well-received sequel to Creed sees the return of stars Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson and Sylvester Stallone and is succeeding in drawing a notably diverse audience. The movie, further reviving the iconic Rocky franchise, cost a reported $50 million to produce and nabbed an A CinemaScore.
Despite the record feast, there are several high-profile Thanksgiving turkeys.
Lionsgate's big-budget Robin Hood will have trouble clearing $14 million from 2,857 theaters for the five days, despite costing nearly $100 million to produce.
The pic, ravaged by critics and earning a ho-hum B CinemaScore, was directed by Otto Bathurst and stars Taron Egerton in the titular role. Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, and Jamie Dornan co-star in the film, which was originally set to open in March of this year.
DreamWorks and Participant's awards hopeful Green Book, directed by Peter Farrelly, expanded nationwide on Wednesday into 1,062 theaters to dismal results. The film, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, is looking at a projected five-day total of $7.3 million.
Earlier this month, Mortensen had to apologize after using the N-word during a post-screening discussion in Los Angeles. The period drama, drawing from a real-life story, stars Ali as a classical pianist who embarks on a road trip through the segregated South in the 1960s with a white driver and Italian-American bouncer, played by Mortensen.
Sony's awards hopeful The Front Runner is likewise falling flat in its nationwide expansion into a total of 807 theaters. Directed by Jason Reitman and starring Hugh Jackman as one-time Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart, the biographical drama is looking at a five-day holiday take of less than $800,000.
Instead, the big winner among the myriad of films vying for recognition in various Oscar categories is Fox Searchlight's period drama The Favourite, which debuted Friday in four theaters in New York York and Los Angeles. The critically acclaimed film, which was directed by Yargos Lanthimos and stars Olivia Coleman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, is looking to post a screen average in the $120,000-$130,000 range, easily the best average in nearly two years.
Alfonso Cuaron's Roma also is debuting over the holiday in three cinemas in New York and L.A. — two Landmark locations and the IFC Center — although Netflix isn't reporting grosses. If Netflix were to do so, the film would no doubt also post a stellar per-screen average, considering many showings are sold out.
Among nationwide holdovers, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter spinoff and sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in a relatively close race with Universal's animated family film The Grinch for third place.