It was a feast for every audience at the box office this Thanksgiving weekend. Family-friendly fare from Disney and Sony reigned supreme, while the older set turned out for MGM's juicy thriller "House of Gucci." It might not have been as big a box office banquet as analysts anticipated, but there was still plenty for studios and exhibitors to be thankful for.
Disney handily reclaimed its Thanksgiving box office crown with their latest animated musical, "Encanto." The family-friendly fairy tale opened to $27M and claimed a five-day total of $40.3M. While these are not numbers Disney is used to from pre-pandemic times ("Frozen II," for comparison, took in $130.3M over the same five-day period), it's still as sure a sign as any that families are feeling confident enough to return to the theater. "Encanto" earned the best opening weekend of any family film, animated or otherwise, since the onset of the pandemic.
MGM's "House of Gucci" also ruled the weekend. The soapy adult-oriented drama clutched $14.2M in its opening and took in a total of $21.8M, making it the strongest debut for an adult-skewing drama since the pandemic's start. "House of Gucci" tops director Ridley Scott's previous star-studded historical drama, "The Last Duel," which opened to $4.8M. The film also bests previous adult-oriented dramas "Cry Macho," "The Many Saints of Newark," and the Will Smith-led "King Richard," from last week.
In a similar display of recovery, Paul Thomas Anderson's "Licorice Pizza" also delivered. The limited release from MGM led the specialty charts with $336K from only four theaters. Not only does this top A24's $134K opening of "C'mon C'mon" from last week, but it also places "Licorice Pizza" as Anderson's third-best opener of his career (so far), after 2012's "The Master" ($736K) and 2002's "Punch-Drunk Love" ($367K). All in all, this is great news for upcoming award hopefuls, as the adult demo has been the slowest to return to theaters.
The only other major release of the weekend was Sony/Screen Gems' "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City." The reboot of Sony's lucrative video game-based horror franchise barely made a dent in the box office with $5.3M. The film marks the first in the series without its usual star Milla Jovovich, or its usual director and screenwriter Paul W.S. Anderson. While the movie's haul was enough to place it in the top five, it looks as though the series' best days are behind it.
Holdovers ruled the remaining top ten. Sony's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" battled Disney's "Encanto" for a slice of the family pie. The spooky "three-quel" took in a three-day gross of $24.5M in its second week, a 44% drop from the previous week. Also of note, Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi epic "Dune" crossed the $100M mark. Now in its sixth week, "Dune" is W.B.'s second title to cross the pandemic-era benchmark. For reference, it took "Godzilla vs. Kong" double that amount of time to cross the century mark in April.
Despite the looming COVID concerns, it's clear that consumer confidence is growing, and recovery is happenng. This should bode well in the coming weeks. Up ahead Disney/20th Century will launch Steven Spielberg's musical remake "West Side Story." Following that, Sony feeds the fanbase with the Marvel entry "Spider-Man: No Way Home."
Box Office Top Ten - Nov. 26-28 (3-Day Totals):
- "Encanto" (Disney) - $27,000,000 / Total: $40,300,000
- "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" (Sony) - $24,500,000 / Total: $87,758,129
- "House of Gucci" (MGM) - $14,231,000 / Total: $21,832,755
- "Eternals" (Disney) - $7,900,000 / Total: $150,643,809
- "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City" (Sony) - $5,275,000 / Total: $8,800,000
- "Clifford the Big Red Dog" (Paramount) - $4,875,000 / Total: $42,883,301
- "King Richard" (W.B.) - $3,300,000 / Total: $11,378,000
- "Dune" (W.B.) - $2,165,000 / Total: $102,242,000
- "No Time to Die" (MGM) - $1,753,000 / Total: $158,128,117
- "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" (Sony) - $1,565,000 / Total: $209,515,986
Box office data comes to us from Box Office Mojo.
Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.