The box office had a nice bump as the Thanksgiving weekend saw three movies gross more than $40 million over the five-day extended weekend, although Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 still dominated over all of them with an additional $75.8 million and $51.6 million over the three-day weekend, down 50% from its opening. That’s a better hold than Mockingjay Part 1, which earned $57 million over Thanksgiving last year, down 53% from its bigger opening. After ten days, it has grossed $198 million at the domestic box office, which is down from where Part 1 was at with $225.7 million in the same time frame.
Disney•Pixar released their second movie of 2015, The Good Dinosaur, into 3,749 theaters on Wednesday and after earning $9.8 million on Wednesday and dropping on Thanksgiving day, it picked up steam for the weekend with an estimated $39.1 million over the three days and $55.6 million including Wednesday and Thursday. That weekend opening is the lowest for a Pixar Animation film since 1998’s A Bug’s Life, which grossed $33 million over the Thanksgiving weekend (after an exclusive release in a single theater the week before). Even so, it scored the fourth-biggest Thanksgiving opening for both the three-day and five-day time frames, and it should continue to do well as the only family film for the next few weeks, having received an “A” rating from audiences polled by CinemaScore.
The Good Dinosaur took in an additional $28.7 million internationally in 39 territories with the UK scoring the biggest amount with $4.3 million, followed by Mexico and France.
Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler reteamed with Michael B. Jordan for MGM and Warner Bros. Pictures’ Creed, putting Sylvester Stallone in the role of Rocky Balboa for the seventh time, and it became one of the biggest surprise holiday hits. Released into 3,404 theaters on Wednesday, it scored $1.6 million in previews, which amounted to a $6 million opening day, but it built on that for a higher Thursday, and it’s estimated to gross $30.1 million over the three-day weekend. That’s more than the $20 million opening for Rocky IV over Thanksgiving weekend thirty years ago, although it’s not that impressive when you take into consideration thirty years of ticket price inflation. Even so, the movie ended up well above expectations with an estimated $42.6 million over the five-day weekend and it should continue to perform strong over the next few weeks going by the “A” CinemaScore.
MGM Studios also took fourth place with the 24th James Bond movie SPECTRE (Sony), which took in an estimated $12.8 million over the three-day weekend (just a 15% drop from last weekend) with $18.2 million grossed over the five-day holiday. It has earned $176.1 million in North America, which is more than the total gross for Daniel Craig’s first two Bond films, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, but less than the $221 million that the previous Bond film, Skyfall, had grossed by the end of Thanksgiving weekend in 2012.
20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios‘ animated The Peanuts Movie collected another $9.7 million over the three-day weekend, down 27% from last weekend to take fifth place, with $13.6 million over the five days and $117 million grossed so far domestically.
Sony Pictures’ R-rated holiday comedy The Night Before, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie and directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50), took sixth place with $8.2 million (down 17%) in three days and $11.5 million Wednesday and Thursday. Its $24 million domestic gross is just shy of the film’s reported $25 million production budget.
STX Entertainment‘s thriller Secret in Their Eyes, starring Julia Roberts, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Nicole Kidman, also dropped two places to seventh with $6 million over the five-day weekend and $14 million total.
It was neck and neck with the ensemble drama Spotlight (Open Road), starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and Stanley Tucci, which expanded nationwide into 897 theaters where it brought int $5.7 million over the five-day weekend and $4.5 million over three. It has grossed $12.3 million to date.
The Saoirse Ronan drama Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) also expanded nationwide into 845 theaters which allowed it to move into the Top 10 to ninth place with an estimated $4.9 million over the five-day weekend. It has earned $7.3 million since opening in select cities a few weeks back.
Ridley Scott’s The Martian (20th Century Fox), starring Matt Damon, retained a place in the Top 10 for the ninth weekend in a row with $4.5 million over the five-day weekend and $3.3 million Friday through Sunday. It has earned $219 million to date, making it one of the year’s blockbuster hits.
The big bomb of the weekend and probably among the biggest bombs for Thanksgiving releases was 20th Century Fox’s Victor Frankenstein, starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, which grossed an estimated $3.5 million in 2,795 theaters over the five-day weekend, just $1,234 per theater. It’s ironic that it fared worse than The Martian in its ninth weekend, considering that the movies swapped release dates earlier in the year. It also grossed less than Brooklyn in its expansion into 2,000 less theaters.
It may not be surprising, but the Thanksgiving Top 10 was up around $10 million from the same time last year when DreamWorks Animation’s animated spin-off The Penguins of Madagascaropened in second place with $36 million over the five days and the comedy sequel Horrible Bosses had to settle for fifth place with $23 million.
Focus Features’ period drama The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard, Matthias Schoenaerts and Ben Whishaw, opened in four theaters in New York and L.A. where it grossed $185,000, or $46,250 per theater. According to exit surveys, 58% of the audience was female and 67% over 40.
Todd Haynes’ period drama Carol (The Weinstein Company), starring Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Kyle Chandler, held decently in its second weekend, still playing just four theaters in New York and L.A., and it added another $203 thousand for a $588,000 total. One expects that The Weinstein Company will expand the film into more theaters and eventually wide by year’s end.