Just like last Thanksgiving weekend last year, an animated film (Moana) opened against a big blockbuster in its second weekend (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and came out a decisive victor, though in both cases, the Thanksgiving weekend has given the struggling blockbuster new life. Here, it’s Pixar’s fantastic Coco that took the top spot, raking in around $70 million for the five-day weekend. That’s short of Moana’s $82 million last year, but much better than the $55 million The Good Dinosaur pulled in over Thanksgiving 2015. Coco was a particularly huge hit with Hispanic audiences, which made up 39 percent of the audience (compared to 42 percent white), and that should bode well both for the future of the pic over the holiday and its international appeal. It’s already put up $48 million in Mexico, where it’s the biggest hit of the last two years after only three weeks of release. Great reviews (96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and great word of mouth (an A+ on Cinemascore), plus a whole lot of crying parents should keep this movie humming through the holiday season.
Meanwhile, Justice League, which opened with a disappointing $93 million last weekend, managed a fairly decent second weekend hold, putting up around $60 million over the five-day holiday frame. With ten-days in the books, it’s made over $170 million and is actually tracking better than last year’s Fantastic Beasts). It’ll do fine, especially once international box-office is factored in (it earned $189 overseas last weekend). It’s not going to be a $1 billion hit, but Justice League is going to make a profit eventually.
The big surprise, however, is Wonder, which is turning into a huge, holiday sleeper hit. The flick earned $32 million over the holiday weekend and, after ten days, it’s put up $70 million on only a $20 million budget. It joins Get Out and Split as the year’s biggest sleeper hits.
Holdovers dominated most of the rest of the weekend. Thor: Ragnarok continued to perform very well, adding nearly $25 million since Wednesday. It’s earned $277 million, so far, and $300 million is easily within its range. Murder on the Orient Express brought in $18 million to bring its total to $75 million, and with its international grosses of over $100 million, Fox is already lining up a sequel, based on Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile. Daddy’s Home 2 came in with similar numbers and has now crossed the $70 million mark, Mel Gibson’s presence notwithstanding.
The animated The Star added $10 million to bring its total to $22 million, and A Bad Moms Christmas has nearly hit the $60 million mark after four weeks. Denzel’s Roman J. Israel, Esq. opened wide this weekend and earned an OK $6.3 million, though it has very little awards season buzz. The same cannot be said for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO and Lady Bird, which took the 10th and 11th spots with $4.4 million and $4 million respectively. They are both currently frontrunners in the Oscar race (and deservedly so). Their biggest competition is Call Me By Your Name, the Armie Hammer film that opened in four theaters this weekend and earned a massive $111,000 per location.
Next weekend sees no new wide releases, as Thanksgiving leftovers will compete with very little major competition until Star Wars is released in mid-December. A24 will release James Franco’s Disaster Artist in a few theaters next weekend and the Woody Allen film, Wonder Wheel, will probably come and go with little notice next weekend.