SUNDAY AM UPDATE, Refresh for more analysis and chart: Without Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick in the marketplace, the Thanksgiving box office was much lighter than previous holidays, grossing an estimated $141.3M over 5-days, off 46% from 2019’s pre-pandemic holiday. Two family movies, Disney’s animated Encanto, which banked 52% of its $40.3M 5-day gross from Latino and Hispanic audiences, and Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife which delivered $35.3M in its second weekend over Wednesday-Sunday, were the top destinations for families. Worldwide, Encanto hit its global studio projection with a $70M start.
For our previous updates of the Thanksgiving box office, click here.
If Disney CEO Bob Chapek is wondering whether families went to the movie theaters or not, the answer is yes, they did. It’s just there was another family title on the marquee doing business. Over three days, Encanto did $27M to Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s $24.5M. Rivals studio estimates show both movies being even closer than that, so we’ll see where they settle tomorrow. Unfortunately, it stands to be argued that with Encanto launching over the Thanksgiving frame, general moviegoers might have felt it was Disney/Pixar’s Coco all over again from the marketing. Perhaps launching the movie during a different season of the year would have distinguished it more.
The Sobering Reality Of Thanksgiving Box Office During Pandemic With 'Encanto' Sans 'Top Gun 2'; Adults Return For 'House Of Gucci', 'Licorice Pizza'
As we previously mentioned, while we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, it’s product that makes for great box office (clearly evident in the massive $638M tentpole month we had in October with No Time to Die, Dune, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Halloween Kills), and despite Disney’s push for Encanto, the movie didn’t have as wide appeal as previous Thanksgiving animated movies such as Coco, Moana, Tangled, etc. Encanto‘s five-day is even under Pixar’s Thanksgiving 2015 title The Good Dinosaur, which was considered a bomb at the time, opening to $39.1M over three-days, $55.4M over five days.
Meanwhile, despite headlines about the Omicron virus, adults finally found their way to the cinema with United Artists Releasing-MGM’s House of Gucci building the best opening for a drama in the last two years at the box office with $14.2M over 3-days and $21.8M over 5, the last being Sony’s Little Women over Christmas 2019 ($16.7M 3-day, $29.2M 5-day).
UAR/MGM had two home runs this past weekend, the other being Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1970s teen comedy Licorice Pizza which posted the best opening screen average (as opposed to theater average) ever with $83,8K from four screens: LA’s Regency Village and NYC’s Lincoln Square, Village East, & Alamo Brooklyn — all 70MM prints. Pic’s opening weekend of $335K even beats the openings of Anderson’s previous specialty openings: 2014’s Inherent Vice ($328K, 5 theaters), 2017’s Phantom Thread ($216K, 4 theaters), 2007’s There Will Be Blood ($190,7K, 2 theaters). Licorice Pizza‘s debut ranks behind the openings of the 8x Oscar nominee’s The Master ($736K, 5 theaters) and 2002’s Punch Drunk Love ($367K, 5 theaters). It’s important to note the potency of Licorice Pizza‘s opening: Not only did the movie post the best gross at LA’s Regency Village in 25 years, one needs to realize that with a film such as The Master, that movie had more screens per theater. Licorice Pizza is raking in cash only off of four. That’s remarkable. Great exits at 87% positive and 73% definite recommend. The 18-34 bunch came out at 72%, leaning toward guys 66%, with 70% Caucasian, 19% Hispanic and Latino, 3% Black and 8% Asian. Close to 70% of the audience were college graduates.
“Originality still counts in the marketplace and people want to see original stories,” beamed UAR Distribution Boss Erik Lomis.
House of Gucci‘s marketing campaign delivered on two fronts, both with young and old moviegoers as the pic’s attendance showed 45% between 18-34 years old & 34% over 45+.
RelishMix reports that House of Gucci had a powerful social media pull of 415.4M across Twitter, Instagram, YouTube views and Facebook with the cast pulling in over 234M on their own social media accounts. Lady Gaga counts 188.7M followers with Salma Hayek at 22.7M and Jared Leto at 21.2M. “The cast totally worked it,” said Lomis about how Gaga, Leto, Hayek, Al Pacino and Adam Driver all came through in tubthumping the movie. This post on Gaga’s Instagram grabbed 1.4M views.
A post shared by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)
While Sony came up high on Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the studio came up low on their R-rated genre Capcom videogame adaptation Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City which made $5.3M over 3-days, $8.8M over five.
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