Box Office Report: 'Coco' Leads Thanksgiving Weekend, But How Positive Are the Numbers?

Box Office Report: 'Coco' Leads Thanksgiving Weekend, But How Positive Are the Numbers?

Nov 27, 2017

CocoHere's your estimated 5-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. Coco - $71.1 million ($71.1 million total)

2. Justice League - $59.6 million ($171.5 million total)

3. Wonder - $32.2 million ($69.4 million total)

4. Thor: Ragnarok - $24.2 million ($277.4 million total)

5. Daddy’s Home 2 - $18.63 million ($72.6 million total)

6. Murder on the Orient Express - $18.61 million ($74.2 million total)

7. The Star - $9.5 million ($22.0 million total)

8. A Bad Moms Christmas - $6.7 million ($59.7 million total)

9. Roman J. Israel, Esq. - $6.2 million ($6.2 million total)

10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - $5.85 million ($7.6 million total)


The Big Stories

It’s easy to say that the last time Pixar opened a movie over the Thanksgiving holiday it was a disappointment. But it was the word-of-mouth that disappointed, not the actual opening. While The Good Dinosaur went on to gross just $123 million domestically (a Pixar low), it did open to $55 million over the 5-day holiday; the fifth best opening in history. Disney in some form or another has owned this particular stretch at the box office with nine of the ten best openings ever. Back to the Future Part II was pushed out last year by Moana and is just three films away from pushing Four Christmases out for good. It will be Wreck-it-Ralph 2’s job next year to make it two. It is Coco’s turn though to assert Disney’s dominance but how do its numbers add up?


Who Wants Coco?

Coco’s 96% with critics is the fourth best-reviewed wide release of the year at Rotten Tomatoes, behind just The Big Sick (98%), Get Out (99%) and Lady Bird (making a run at history as you will see below.) A $49 million weekend and a $71 million five-day haul puts Coco in the four spot on both charts for the all-time holiday chart. Though Thanksgiving seems like prime real estate to release a holiday blockbuster, in actuality only six films have ever opened during this time and grossed over $200 million. Two of them were big word-of-mouth Robin Williams hits in 1992-93 (Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire) and the other four were, of course, Disney films (Frozen, Moana, Toy Story 2 and Tangled). Working in Coco’s favor is that those four films all opened to $68 million or higher over the five-day weekend, which places it inflation-wise about lock-step with Tangled, which inched over the milestone with $200.8 million. That is the half-full approach to Coco’s numbers. One needs only to look at Pixar’s overall history to ask for a refill.

Coco’s $49 million weekend ranks near the bottom of the Pixar chart, ahead of just Ratatouille, The Good Dinosaur, A Bug’s Life and their very first feature, Toy Story, which with inflation would equal about $47.1 million today. The numbers are skewed a little given they are stretched out over five days compared to just three. So how does Coco rank on Pixar’s first five-day chart? (*Film opened in a brief limited release before going wide.)

Finding Dory ($177.8), Toy Story 3 ($141.1), Inside Out ($113.9), Monsters University ($105.2), Finding Nemo ($84.3), Brave ($84.1), Up ($80.7), Cars 2 ($80.18), Toy Story 2 ($80.10*), WALL-E ($79.6), The Incredibles ($77.4), Cars ($72.2), Coco ($71.1), Monsters Inc. ($70.3), Cars 3 ($65.9), Ratatouille ($62.4), The Good Dinosaur ($55.4), A Bug’s Life ($45.7*), Toy Story ($39.0).

In Coco’s favor (aside from an additional $82 million worldwide) is the total lack of, well, anything opening over the next couple of weeks. The road is being cleared for Star Wars; The Last Jedi and Coco could be the beneficiary of that as should many other films in the Top Ten.


Tales of the Top Ten

DC fans just won’t give up on their films, even if most everyone else has. They have pushed Justice League to a 10-day total of $171 million. That’s only 67th on the all-time chart between Fast & Furious 6 and Star Wars : Episode II - Attack of the Clones. Reports are suggesting that it needs $750 million worldwide just to break even, which estimates approximately just $75 million for P&A. It is at $481 million worldwide right now, meaning it is going to need to hit the half-billion mark on the international side for this film to hope to spring a profit. Those budget numbers seem very generous, though, as Warner Bros. heads for their fourth straight loser. Lionsgate sure does not have to worry about the $20 million that it cost to make Wonder, as this film is turning into the breakout hit of the season and the studio’s biggest winner since La La Land. It’s at $69 million and headed to well over $100 million and probably an even bigger Oscar campaign than the makers ever dreamed of.

The next three films in the Top Ten should certainly benefit from the lack of options over the next two weeks. Thor: Ragnarok is headed for $300 million and will be passing $800 million globally this week. Murder on the Orient Express and Daddy’s Home 2 may both come up short of $100 million. The former may still have an outside chance if adults don’t head for expansions of certain Oscar-caliber films. No, not Roman J. Israel, Esq., which on just 1,644 theaters grossed just $6.2 million and garnered just a 55% from critics. Look further down to Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri grossing $5.3 and $4.8 million, respectively, each on less than 750 theaters. By next week Greta Gerwig’s film will be the fourth highest-grossing film in A24’s history, behind just Moonlight, Ex Machina and The Witch. Joining the fray of impressive limited openings this year are Sony Classics’ Call Me By Your Name ($404,874 / 98% RT) and Focus’ Darkest Hour ($176,000 / 87% RT); both in just four theaters and expected to factor into the awards conversation as well. Call Me By Your Name even bested Lady Bird’s $364,437 start, though do not expect it to match the broad appeal of Gerwig’s film, which still has a perfect 100% score at Rotten Tomatoes with 161 reviews.

If you want to listen to Erik Childress’ Holiday Box Office Prediction Show, you can download the podcast.

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[Box office figures via Box Office Mojo.]

Categories: Features, Geek, Indie, Box office
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