Disney original animation is looking at a comeback this Thanksgiving with the princess pic Wish with as much as $45M-$50M over 5-days after suffering a setback over last year’s holiday with Strangeworld which did $18.8M.
With the strikes over, and Thanksgiving week a primetime for moviegoing with K-12 schools off 47%/colleges off 18% today rising to 100% apiece on Thursday and Friday, there’s a lot of hope from Hollywood for a bountiful box office. All movies at the Wednesday-Sunday Thanksgiving B.O. last year grossed $134M. Remember Black Friday is one of the richest days of the year at the domestic B.O.
The overseas release for Wish is a staggered approach ala Disney/Pixar’s Elemental with only 43% of the foreign B.O. marketplace going this week including major markets UK, Spain, Mexico, China, as well as India, Benelux, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Philippines. All in, $25M is expected from abroad where Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated for a global opening weekend of $60M and a running worldwide total by EOD Sunday of $75M.
The movie, directed by Frozen franchise co-helmer Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, follows a young girl named Asha (voiced by West Side Story Oscar winner Ariana DeBose) who wishes on a star and gets a more direct answer than she bargained for when a trouble-making star comes down from the sky to join her. The movie is inspired by Disney’s centennial and centers on the studio’s theme of wishes coming true. Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice wrote the songs with Disney orchestrator Dave Metzger penning the score.
Mexico will kick things off on Thursday in a rare turn. And since France isn’t going until next week, there is no offshore Wednesday market opening. The UK, Spain and the less reliable Hollywood market China –the latter a projected $5M for the movie’s offshore launch– join Friday. We expect the top Wish openers in this early offshore frame to be a mix of UK, Mexico and China.
If all goes well, over 3-days, it could be the best Friday-Sunday domestic take for an original feature toon post-pandemic with $35M after the opening of Disney/Pixar’s Elemental at $29.6M. Currently U.S./Canada presales for Wish are 60% ahead of Elemental. Wish is booked at 3,700 theaters with stateside previews starting Tuesday at 3PM. Disney will have some PLF screens on Wish.
The comp here at the domestic B.O. is this past weekend’s Trolls Band Together ($30.6M opening) from Universal/DreamWorks Animation as well as Disney’s original animated musical movie, Encanto, which braved Covid Thanksgiving 2021 with a $40.5M 5-day, and $27.2M 3-day.
Excluding China, new IP Elemental (which opened into holidays) debuted to $21.6M in like-for-likes at current exchange rates. Similarly, Moana did $22.4M and Encanto $14M in their comparable bows.
Next weekend adds France and Germany, followed by Japan on December 15, Italy on December 21, Australia on December 26 and Korea and Brazil in early January.
Reviews for Wish stand at 52% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Coming in second at the domestic B.O. over 5-days is Lionsgate’s second weekend of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes with around $30M. The opening weekend came in below $50M opening projections at $44.6M. Global debut was $100.8M. A $30M 5-day domestic take is -33% off from the opening weekend of the Francise Lawrence directed prequel, which is in vicinity of what the Thanksgiving Day stretch of 2015’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 did compared to its opening weekend (-26% with a$75.9M 5 day compared to a $102.6M 3-day). RT Audience score is at 91% for Songbirds & Snakes vs. a critics’ score of 63% fresh.
As we told you on Friday, Apple Studios Production of Ridley Scott’s Napoleon via Sony is seeing a $46M global debut, broken out that’s $22M 5-day domestic, and $24M overseas. Historical war pics have proven to be money just before the onset of the pandemic, i.e. 1917, and afterwards, Oppenheimer. Ninety-six reviews for the Joaquin Phoenix starring Napoleon stand at 68% fresh. The movie is on a 45-day theatrical window. Napoleon and Songbirds & Snakes will share Imax.
Trolls Band Together is looking at a 5-day take of $20M. The Walt Dohrn-directed movie received an A CinemaScore which was the same grade as the first Trolls back in 2016.
Amazon/MGM’s Saltburn after an opening theater average of $46K and 3-day of $322K is expanding this week.