The film industry is expected to sleep off its Thanksgiving feast this weekend, after Disney and Pixar’s “Coco” dominated ticket-buying over the holiday break.The Dia de Los Muertos-themed computer-animated movie, which opened with a strong $73 million in its first five days of release, could retain the No. 1 spot in the United States and Canada until Disney releases “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Dec. 15.“Coco,” Warner Bros.’ “Justice League” and Lionsgate’s “Wonder” drove the box-office to its fourth biggest five-day Thanksgiving weekend ever, not adjusting for inflation, according to comScore.The industry total of $265 million in domestic ticket sales Wednesday through Sunday was up about 2% from last year, but was far from a record-breaker. The largest Turkey Day haul remains 2013’s $294 million, led by “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and Disney’s “Frozen.”
Ticket sales in the United States and Canada remain sluggish compared to last year. Movies have grossed $9.71 billion domestically in 2017, down 4% from the same period a year ago thanks to disappointing performances from multiple films.
was released last week, fans have been vocal in their vitriol for the 21-minute featurette, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure,” running before the film. And the hue and cry has largely been over what a disservice the short is to viewers.
Yet Walt Disney Animation might also be doing a creative disservice to “Olaf.”Most of the complaints have centered on the maddening length of the featurette. Before a Pixar feature film, we are accustomed to getting a charming short running five minutes or so — a warm-hearted masterwork in miniature that preps our heartstrings for the emotional depths of most Pixar films.
Instead, however, we get a small “Frozen” movie that begins to feel as if it will never end. We are creatures of habit, and “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” eventually feels like the grinning house guest who won’t leave, even through the party was supposed to clear out long ago. As each successive song in the four-tune reel cues up, moviegoers’ reactions can be heard to switch from laughing irritation to growing mockery to outright anger.
The first weekend in December is often one that falls through the cracks, and last weekend’s winner, Disney Pixar’s Coco, looks to take full advantage of that. This frame is often forgotten, since it falls between the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and either the prestige Oscar candidates or the final big-budget blockbusters that arrive over the holiday season, and this year is no different, with no movies opening in wide release, although there are a slew of movies arriving in limited release, such as Parade Deck Films’ Another WolfCop, Epic Pictures’ Badsville, Well Go USA’s Brotherhood of Blades 2, Hannover House’s Daisy Winters, A24 Films’ The Disaster Artist, Cinedigm Entertainment’s Gangster Land, Zorya Films’ Inoperable, the independent Kepler’s Dream, Fox Searchlight’s The Shape of Water, Vertical Entertainment’s Slumber, Well Go USA’s The Swindlers, IFC’s Tribes of Palos Verdes and Amazon Studios’ Wonder Wheel. With no wide release contenders, Coco should have no trouble winning this weekend with $30.2 million.
This year has been quite an interesting one for animated movies, which had at one point been seen as sure fire box office gold, since they have elements that appeal to the whole family, but that hasn’t exactly been the case this year. So far, only Despicable Me 3 has cracked the top 10 at the domestic box office for the year, a far cry from just last year, when there were four animated movies in the top 10, Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets, Zootopia and Sing. This year there are also two R-rated movies in the top 10 (IT and Logan), a slight increase from one (Deadpool) last year. While there have been some animated hits just outside the top 10 like The Boss Baby and The LEGO Batman Movie, there have also been several high-profile animated movies like The Emoji Movie, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, Smurfs: The Lost Village, Leap! and My Little Pony: The Movie severely underperforming this year, but that doesn’t seem to be the cast with Pixar’s Coco.
Coco‘s $50.8 million debut was the third best all year, behind Despicable Me 3 ($72.4 million) and The LEGO Batman Movie ($53 milion), and the movie has already set a box office record in Mexico, where it opened just before the actual Day of the Dead, becoming the highest-grossing movie in Mexican box office history, breaking the five-year record set by Marvel’s The Avengers. As of now, it has earned $82.3 million internationally for a worldwide total of $155.2 million, from an unspecified production budget. We’re predicting that Coco stays put atop the box office with $30.2 million, and this lack of newcomers will also benefit the remaining holdovers as well, since, barring a rather miraculous showing from any of the limited release titles, the top 10 should essentially stay intact this weekend.
The top 10 will likely include Justice League ($21.6 million), Wonder ($13.6 million), Thor: Ragnarok $9.1 million), Daddy’s Home 2 ($6.3 million), Murder on the Orient Express $6 million) The Star ($3.9 million), A Bad Moms Christmas ($2.8 million), Roman J. Israel, Esq. ($2.3 million) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ($2 million). Of this crop of newcomers in limited release, the three that could have a shot at cracking the top 10 with an astounding limited release debut are A24 Films’ The Disaster Artist, Fox Searchlight’s The Shape of Water and Amazon Studios’ Wonder Wheel. Director Guillermo del Toro’s critically-acclaimed The Shape of Water and director/star James Franco’s The Disaster Artist are both critical hits, with 98% and 96% respectively on Rotten Tomatoes, while Wonder Wheel has a mixed reception with 52%.
Looking ahead to next weekend, only Broad Green Pictures’ action comedy Just Getting Started will debuted in wide release, and while The Disaster Artist will also be expanding nationwide, it isn’t clear how significant the expansion will be yet. Also opening in limited release that date is Neon’s highly-anticipated I, Tonya starring Margot Robbie, Vertical Entertainment’s Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron and Rachelle Lefevre and another Vertical film, November Criminals, starring Ansel Elgort and Chloe Moretz. Take a look at our top 10 projections for the weekend of December 1, and check back on Sunday for the box office estimates.