by Brad Brevet
November 20, 2018
As the month rolls on, the yearly box office will receive a generous boost from this long, holiday weekend. The five-day Thanksgiving frame will see Disney debut the animated sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet, MGM will come out punching with Creed II and Lionsgate’s release of Robin Hood will hope to steal some of the leftover loot. Additionally, carryover films such as Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and The Grinch will add their own contributions to the bottom line.
At the top of the box office, look for Disney Animation’s Ralph Breaks the Internet to give the studio the Thanksgiving crown for the third year in a row. Last year Coco delivered a $72.9 million five-day opening while the year before that Moana brought in a massive $82 million, the second largest five-day Thanksgiving opening of all-time. In fact, Disney owns ten of the top eleven five-day Thanksgiving openings and Ralph will be looking at its own spot on the list, challenging for a spot in the overall top five.
Debuting in 4,014 theaters, Ralph Breaks the Internet is already the widest Thanksgiving opener of all-time and a look at IMDb page views over the two weeks leading up to release shows it been pacing very similarly to Coco while actually outpacing Moana. Online ticket retailer Fandango.com also reports they are seeing similar trends with the film outpacing the original Wreck-It Ralph as well as both Moana and Coco at the same point in the Fandango sales cycle. More good news comes in the way of reviews, which are on par with the first film as it currently holds a 72 rating on Metacritic and a healthy 92% on RottenTomatoes.
Disney is currently anticipating a five-day debut in the high-$60 millions while we’re looking for something a bit higher, right around $71.8 million for the five-day. The main thing keeping us from going any higher is the question of audience allegiance to the Ralph franchise (the last installment was six years ago) as well as the overall competition, including Illumination’s The Grinch, the one-week-old release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and even Creed II for that matter, which looks to do big numbers of its own.
Internationally, Ralph opens day-and-date with North America in a handful of international markets including Russia (Nov 22) and China and Mexico on November 23. Releases in the UK and Spain begin the following week with an extended rollout to follow, with debuts through February.
In the runner-up position, look for an explosive debut for MGM’s Creed II. Early industry tracking suggested the film could be headed for a five-day performance anywhere from $47-53 million and we’re expecting it to climb even higher. The first film knocked out $42.1 million in its first five days, and a look at IMDb page view data shows the sequel tracking almost right in line with its predecessor, which is great news for a follow-up feature.
Reviews for the film aren’t quite at the same level as the first, but that shouldn’t have much of an impact if any as we expect Creed II to deliver over $54 million in its first five days of release from 3,441 locations.
In third is WB’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which fell short of its predecessor’s opening weekend last week and, as if that wasn’t enough, the film’s $5.07 million Monday signaled a -67% slide versus Sunday’s number, while the first film dipped -63.5%. As a result, we’re looking at a -53% second weekend dip for a $29 million three-day and a five-day gross right around $41 million.
Universal and Illumination’s The Grinch faces its first true competition this weekend with the release of Ralph Breaks the Internet, but given the film’s holiday theme it should prove to have some lasting power. We’re going into the weekend anticipating a drop around -39% and a five-day performance pushing toward $33 million.
Rounding out the top five, look for Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody tdip around 28% for a $16 million five-day as it nears $150 million domestically.
Outside the top five is where we expect to find Lionsgate’s release of Summit’s Robin Hood. Debuting in ~2,700 locations, the studio is anticipating a five-day opening in the mid-to-high teens, but given the competition as well as the incredibly poor reviews — 16% on RottenTomatoes and 33 on Metacritic — we’re having a hard time expecting this one to reach $15 million for the five-day. The comp we’ve been focusing on is Fox’s 2016 release of Assassin’s Creed, which delivered $17.7 million over its first five days in release, but the awareness and anticipating for that particular film seemed to eclipse anything this latest Robin Hood adaptation could hope for. That being said, IMDb page view performance shows Robin Hood slightly outperforming Assassin’s Creed over the two weeks leading up to release, but we’re still hedging our bets and anticipating a five-day around $14.5 million.
Elsewhere, Universal is expanding the release of Green Book this weekend after it debuted in 25 locations this past weekend with $320k. We’ve had a difficult time with comps for this one, but ultimately settled on The Book Thief despite the difference in genre. Both films didn’t exactly blow the doors off in limited release, but were heavily supported by their studios. Overall, we see Green Book bringing in around $3-4 million for the three-day and an overall five-day performance in the $5-6 million range while the studio is looking for a performance anywhere form $6-8 million.
This weekend’s three and five-day forecasts are directly below. This post will be updated over the coming days followed by a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.
THREE-DAY WEEKEND FORECAST
FIVE-DAY WEEKEND FORECAST