Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” should gobble up the competition when it hits theaters during a crowded Thanksgiving weekend. Before the animated sequel can claim victory, it will have to fend off a heavyweight boxer and a baddie with a bow and arrow.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” the sequel to 2012’s “Wreck It Ralph” looks to fend off fellow newcomers “Creed II” and “Robin Hood” when the trio of films open on Nov. 21. Early tracking shows the animated family flick is heading toward a debut north of $65 million over the five-day period. That would mark the third year in a row that Disney has dominated the holiday frame. “Coco” topped domestic charts when it hit theaters on Thanksgiving last year, and “Moana” secured the box office crown in 2016.
Though estimates could fluctuate over the next few weeks, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” will get a solid head start on the first film’s $49 million launch. The Oscar-nominated “Wreck It Ralph” went on to earn $189 million in North America and $471 million globally. Both films carried substantial production budgets around $175 million. John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch are reprising their roles in the follow-up, while Taraji P. Henson and Gal Gadot are voicing new characters. Disney is leaning into its Rolodex of characters, so a band of princesses, the Muppets, “Star Wars” characters, and Marvel superheroes will also make animated appearances. Rich Moore returned to direct “Ralph Breaks the Internet” along with Phil Johnston.
While “Ralph” targets a younger crowd, “Creed II” could put up a strong counter-programming fight. The eighth installment in the “Rocky” film series is eyeing between $42 million and $48 million over the three-day period. That’s almost double the debut of the original 2015 “Creed” movie, which opened with $29 million and went on to earn $109 million at the domestic box office. Michael B. Jordan steps back in the ring as Donnie, the son of boxing champ Apollo Creed in the follow-up. Sylvester Stallone returns as the legendary Rocky Balboa, and Tessa Thompson plays Donnie’s girlfriend. “Creed” writer-director Ryan Coogler passed filmmaking duties to Steven Caple Jr., though Coogler stayed on board as an executive producer. Stallone and Juel Taylor penned the script.
The weekend’s final wide release is “Robin Hood” starring Taron Egerton. The action adventure is aiming for low teens around $14 million to $17 million over the five-day holiday. The busy turkey fest will also face competition from family-friendly holdovers “The Grinch” and “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”