The final “Hunger Games,” Pixar’s look at the Jurassic age and the return of Rocky didn’t pack a big enough punch to break records at the Thanksgiving box office.
However, the combined ticket sales of “Mockingjay – Part 2,” “The Good Dinosaur” and “Creed” did outpace last year’s holiday by 12%. Overall domestic receipts clocked in at $257 million between Wednesday and Sunday, according to Rentrak. That pales in comparison with Thanksgiving 2013, when “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Frozen” powered ticket sales to $293.7 million, establishing a high-water mark.
In fact, this year’s five-day figure and its three-day weekend total both rank as the fifth-biggest Thanksgiving for the domestic box office. In addition to 2013, this year falls short of 2012 (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” “Skyfall”), 2009 (“Twilight Saga: New Moon,” “The Blind Side”) and 2010 (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”).
Most analysts expect that this will be the first year that the North American box office crosses $11 billion in total receipts. That’s a staggering number, but it’s a testament to the size of blockbusters like “Jurassic World” and “Furious 7,” not the strength of the holiday debuts.
In fact, traditionally strong weekends for movie-going such as July 4th and Memorial Day have been lackluster in 2015, hosting flops and duds such as “Tomorrowland” and “Terminator: Genisys.” The biggest whiff this Thanksgiving was “Victor Frankenstein,” an ill-conceived monster reboot that had one of the worst wide-release launches of the year, earning a meagre $3.4 million over its initial five days.
The record for Thanksgiving openings also remained secure. “The Good Dinosaur” scored the fourth-biggest five-day debut with $55.6 million, but that’s roughly half of the leading $93.6 million that “Frozen” made when it bowed in theaters two years ago.
To give a sense of just how massive that particular weekend was, “Frozen” wasn’t even the top grossing film that Thanksgiving. That honor went to “Catching Fire,” which feasted on an astounding $109.9 million that holiday.