New Line-MGM’s “Creed” scored an industry record for previews on a pre-Thanksgiving Tuesday night. Disney-Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” is just ahead of the $1.2 million start for Disney’s mega-hit “Frozen” two years ago and just behind the “Big Hero 6” opening last year.
Fox’s “Victor Frankenstein” opened with a modest $175,000 at 2,100 locations in Tuesday night previews.
“Creed,” the seventh entry in the “Rocky” franchise stars Sylvester Stallone as the trainer of the son (Michael B. Jordan) of his opponent-turned-friend Apollo Creed. It’s forecast to bring in around $35 million over the five-day holiday at 3,350 theaters.
“The Good Dinosaur,” which opens at about 3,600 locations, focuses on the friendship between a dinosaur and a caveboy in an alternate universe. With “Inside Out” having opened in June, “Dinosaur” represents the first time two Pixar movies have bowed in the same year.
“Creed,” “Dinosaur” and “Victor Frankenstein” are launching against Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2,” which debuted to $102.7 million last weekend for the fifth best opening of 2015 — and the lowest of the four movies in the franchise.
“Mockingjay — Part 2” and “The Good Dinosaur” are expected to battle for first over the five-day weekend. “Mockingjay — Part 1” opened last year on the weekend before Thanksgiving with $121.9 million and declined 32% to $82.7 million over the five days, so if “Part 2” performs similarly, it should have a five-day weekend in the high 60s.
The Thanksgiving frame is traditionally one of the most active moviegoing periods of the year for the U.S. market. Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen” is the record holder with a $93.6 million five-day launch in 2013.
Reviews for “Creed” have been mostly stellar with a 93% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while “The Good Dinosaur” is also launching with strong critical support at 86%, while “Victor Frankenstein” is opening at only 19%.
The long-delayed “Victor Frankenstein,” starring James McAvoy as the doctor and Daniel Radcliffe as Igor, carries modest expectations and is expected to finish the five days at about $12 million at 2,700 sites.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media anlayst with Rentrak, told Variety that overall business should be bountiful during the five-day frame.
“Solid starts for both ‘Creed’ and ‘The Good Dinosaur’ portend a strong Thanksgiving holiday frame with holdovers like ‘Spectre’ and ‘The Peanuts Movie’ likely to benefit as well from the increased foot traffic at the multiplex,” he said. “Specialized debuts from films like ‘The Danish Girl’ and expansions of critical favorites like ‘Spotlight’ will along with their blockbuster cousins provide a veritable bounty of films for audiences to feast upon over the extended moviegoing timeframe and that’s what this particular holiday is all about.”