Thanks to the combined efforts of “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” “Creed II,” and former No. 1 films released earlier in November, the 2018 box office is set to break another record with the best Thanksgiving weekend in industry history.
Industry estimates are projecting a final combined five-day gross of $308 million, topping the previous record of $294 million set in 2013 by films like “Frozen” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” “Ralph Breaks the Internet” will top the charts with an estimated $84.5 million, ranking second among unadjusted Thanksgiving weekend openings behind only “Frozen” with $93 million.
That puts “Ralph” in the position to blow by the $189 million domestic total of its 2012 predecessor. Overseas, the film also opened in 18 countries and grossed $41.5 million, giving it a global start of $126 million.
Disney has come to dominate Thanksgiving weekend, using it as a release date for many of its highest grossing animated releases. In fact, the top five highest Thanksgiving openings are all Disney releases, with “Moana,” “Coco” and “Toy Story 2” joining “Frozen” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet” in the top five. Next year’s Disney release, “Frozen 2,” won’t join that list as the studio moved it to a week before Thanksgiving, but the high interest for that sequel should still yield strong grosses for the holiday.
In second is “Creed II,” which is posting the best Thanksgiving opening for a live-action film with $55.8 million from 3,441 screens. That’s a 32.5 percent increase over the $42.1 million opening of the first “Creed” in 2015. The boxing sequel had the majority of interest from African-American moviegoers this weekend, who flocked to see Michael B. Jordan’s first lead role since his acclaimed performance in “Black Panther.”
Performing less spectacularly was Lionsgate’s “Robin Hood,” a film that held a production budget of nearly $100 million but has only opened to $14 million from 2,829 over the extended weekend. Universal/DreamWorks’ “Green Book” also finished outside the top five with $7.7 million from 1,069 screens.
While “Green Book” hopes to find some steady returns in the coming weeks thanks to its strong word of mouth — it has an A+ on CinemaScore and 82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — “Robin Hood” is looking like it will be a major holiday bomb as audiences gave it a B on CinemaScore and critics panned it with 12 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Among holdovers, Warner Bros.’ “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” continues to lag behind its predecessor domestically, adding $42 million over the extended weekend for a 10-day total of $117 million. That’s 25 percent behind the $156 million of the first “Fantastic Beasts.” Overseas is a different story, as “Grindelwald” was the No. 1 film internationally for the second straight weekend with $83.7 million, giving it a $322.6 million overseas total and a global total of $440 million.
Illumination/Universal’s “The Grinch” will cross the $200 million domestic mark this coming week after also adding $42 million this weekend for a domestic total of $180 million. Finally, Fox/New Regency’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” will pass the $150 million domestic mark after four weekends in theaters, adding $19 million this weekend to complete the top five.
More to come…