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‘Coco’ Edges ‘Justice League’ at Thanksgiving Day Box Office

Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” topped Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment’s “Justice League” at the Thanksgiving Day box office by $400,000 with $8.9 million at 3,987 North American sites.

The animated musical has taken in $22.2 million in its first two days, while the superhero mashup grossed $18.9 million during the same period. Projections have shown that “Coco” will wind up the five-day Thanksgiving holiday with about $70 million during the Wednesday-Sunday period, beating  “Justice League” by about $10 million.

“Coco” is performing significantly above pre-release forecasts, which had been in the $55 million to $60 million range. It received an A+ CinemaScore from moviegoers, indicating that the film could be lifted by strong word of mouth during the rest of the holidays.

On the same holiday weekend a year ago, Disney’s “Moana” scored $25.4 million on its first two days and went on to earn $82 million over the five days. That was the second-highest opening for the period, trailing only Disney’s “Frozen” at $93 million in 2013.

Directed by Lee Unkrich and co-directed by Adrian Molina, “Coco” centers on a 12-year-old who dreams of becoming a musician and sets off to explore his family history in the Land of the Dead. Disney-Pixar hasn’t revealed the cost, but such titles are usually budgeted in the $175 million to $200 million range.

“Coco” is produced by Darla K. Anderson and executive produced by Disney Animation chief John Lasseter, who announced on Nov. 21 that he was taking a six-month leave and apologized for making employees feel disrespected or uncomfortable. “My hope is that a six-month sabbatical will give me the opportunity to start taking better care of myself, to recharge and be inspired, and ultimately return with the insight and perspective I need to be the leader you deserve,” he wrote.

“Justice League,” the fifth installment of the DC Extended Universe, has finished its first week with a cumulative $130.8 million domestic total and a respectable B+ CinemaScore. But it’s also the lowest performer among those high-priced titles. “Wonder Woman” had grossed $147.8 million in its first week in June and “Suicide Squad” took in $179.1 million in its first seven days last year.

Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman along with Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as the Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Warner Bros. has not disclosed the production cost, which is believed to be as much as $300 million.

Lionsgate’s family drama “Wonder” continued showing impressive traction in third with $3.9 million at 3,140 locations on Thanksgiving for a first-week total of $47.1 million. The film, which stars Jacob Tremblay as a fifth grader with a facial deformity, has a modest $20 million budget.

Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” finished fourth with $3.5 million at 3,281 sites on Thursday, lifting its 21-day domestic total to $260.7 million. It will surpass “Despicable Me 3” as the sixth-highest grosser of 2017 over the weekend — always one of the highest moviegoing periods of the year.

Last year’s five-day Thanksgiving weekend saw total grosses his $260.5 million with “Moana” opening with $82 million, and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” taking in $65 million in its second weekend — marking the fifth best Thanksgiving holiday of all time. The record was set in 2013 at $294 million when the second weekend of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” took in $109 million and “Frozen” opened with $93 million.

“Coco,” “Justice League,” “Wonder” and “Thor: Ragnarok” have helped lift the November box office by 8.7% to $725.8 million so far, according to comScore. Year-to-date grosses are down 4.3% to $9.47 billion.

“The 2017 box office rollercoaster ride continues as November enjoys a nearly 9% advantage over the first 22 days of the month last year and in the process has knocked the year to date deficit down nearly a full percentage point,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore. “An unexpectedly strong Thanksgiving frame will provide a much needed boost as the crowd-pleasing melodies of ‘Coco’ combined with the second weekend performances of ‘Justice League’ and ‘Wonder’ plus a half dozen holdovers both big and small will drive solid returns.”

Sony’s legal thriller “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” took in $930,000 on Thursday from 1,648 locations and is projected to finish the weekend with $6.1 million. The studio is marketing the movie as a potential awards contender for Denzel Washington’s performance. The budget is $22 million with financing from Macro, Topic, Cross Creek Pictures, Bron, and The Culture China – Image Nation Abu Dhabi Content Fund.

 

 

 

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