Box office: Thanksgiving Eve raises concerns as Disney Animation’s ‘Strange World’ and other new films battle for scrap

Box office: Thanksgiving Eve raises concerns as Disney Animation’s ‘Strange World’ and other new films battle for scrap

The Thanksgiving box office got off to a decidedly worrying start, with overall box office earnings pale in comparison to other years.

For Disney, it seems like a case of feast or starvation. While Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will remain at the top of the box office for the third straight weekend with a whopping gross of $60 million to $65 million for the five days (Wednesday through Sunday), Disney Animation’s Strange World is in serious difficulties.

Wakanda Forever topped Wednesday with $10 million from 4,174 theaters for a total of $313.7 million.

However, there was no celebration for Strange World, which racked up a $4.2 million gross opening day from 4,174 sites after earning a lukewarm B CinemaScore. At this rate, the family film is poised for a $24-26 million opening in five days, the worst opening for a Disney Animation Thanksgiving title in history. (Disney animated titles like the Frozen franchise usually dominate vacations.)

Last year, Encanto posted five-day gross of $40.6 million after earning $7.8 million on Wednesday despite challenges from the COVID-10 pandemic. And in 2019, Frozen 2 grossed a record $125 million over the five days.

Strange World launches just days after Bob Iger’s return as CEO of The Walt Disney Co. following the shocking fall of Bob Chapek.

A host of other new films are also competing for their place on the Thanksgiving table. On Wednesday, Sony’s Korean War drama Devotion, about two naval fighter pilots, grossed $1.8 million across 3,228 locations for an expected 5-day gross in the $10 million range. The movie stars Top Gun: Mavericks Glen Powell and Jonathan Majors.

The big mystery is Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, with a cast led by Daniel Craig. Netflix isn’t expected to report box office earnings in line with its longstanding practice of hiding numbers from view.

Glass Onion is getting an unprecedented release, becoming the streamer’s first title to play across all three of the country’s largest chains – AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark Theatres. Competitors’ sales executives still have their ways of gathering data directly from exhibition contacts, and two sources tell that Johnson’s sequel likely grossed $2 million from 680 theaters as of Wednesday. That means it could cost $12 million over the five-day holiday corridor, far less than the $41.4 million that Johnson’s Knives Out grossed over Thanksgiving 2019 (the first film received a traditional theatrical release from Lionsgate), but ahead of many of this year’s holiday movies.

Entering its second weekend, Searchlight’s epicurean horror comedy The Menu placed at No. 4 on Wednesday with around $1.1 million from 3,228 locations for a solid five-day yield of around $6 million.

Luca Guadagnino’s award nominee Bones and All – about two young lovers and cannibals, played by Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet, who embark on a road trip – grossed an estimated $921,000 million on Wednesday when it released in select theaters last year weekend expanded to a total of 2,727 cinemas . The special is projecting a subdued five-day gross of $4 million.

A key contributor to the Awards, Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical film The Fablemans is slowing down in hopes of building on the success of Oscar-winning film Green Book. Spielberg’s latest film premiered in New York and Los Angeles over the weekend of November 11-13 before showing in 637 locations on Wednesday. From Universal and Amblin, the picture earned an estimated $400,000 on Wednesday for an expected five-day gross of $3 million.

Holdover Black Adam is also in the mix with an expected five-day gross of about $4 million from 2,842 theaters. It arrived for digital release on November 22nd.

The studios stress that forecasts could change as the holiday progresses. Some analysts are already posting that checkout traffic will take a hit on Thanksgiving because people can finally travel in earnest now that the worst of the pandemic is over.

Nov. 24, 10:30 a.m: Updated with revised unofficial projections for Glass Onion.