‘Ralph,’ ‘Creed’ Give Thanks for Big Box Office Numbers

Hollywood had plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend as moviegoers packed theaters across North America to catch up on older films and check out a pair of highly-anticipated new ones. Of the newcomers, Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet and MGM’s Creed II fared best while Lionsgate’s Robin Hood outright bombed.

Overall, the top ten delivered a huge $202 million this weekend, up a healthy 14% over last year at this time.

For the third year in a row, a Disney animated feature has controlled the number one spot during Thanksgiving.  In 2016, it was Moana. Last year, it was Coco. This year, it’s Ralph Breaks the Internet, the follow up to the 2012 box office hit Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph Breaks the Internet scored a big $55.6 million from 4,017 screens over the three-day weekend frame and a great $84.4 million for its first five days of release.

The opening for the new Ralph ranks fourth among the biggest three-day openings during Thanksgiving just behind Frozen, Toy Story 2 and Moana. It’s also the second biggest opening for a five-day debut during the Turkey Day holiday, just behind the $93.5 million scored by Frozen five years ago. Given the solid feedback from critics – 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 71/100 from Metacritic- and the public –an “A-“ on CinemaScore-, Ralph Breaks the Internet should become the latest $200+ million year-end hit for the Mouse House. The comedy also scored $41 million from overseas debuts this weekend.

This Thanksgiving also saw the return of Adonis Creed to the movie scene. MGM’s boxing sequel Creed II came out swinging on 3,441 screens to knock out an estimated $35.2 million for the weekend and a great $55.8 million since Wednesday. Like Ralph Breaks the Internet, Creed II was a sequel that pleased both the press and public. The follow up to the acclaimed 2015 Ryan Coogler smash scored an 82% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 67/100 from Metacritic and an “A” from viewers polled on CinemaScore.

Despite the arrival of Ralph, Universal’s The Grinch kept rolling right along in its third week on 3,960 screens. The animated comedy scored an estimated $30.2 million, which represented a decrease of only 22% from one week ago. The domestic total for The Grinch now stands at a great $180 million. With Christmas still a month away, the comedy should remain a big box office draw that will wind up with at least $250 million in domestic ticket sales. The Grinch has also scored $35 million overseas so far.

The anticipated arrivals of Creed and Ralph translated into certain doom for the wizards of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald as the sequel nosedived a steep 52% in its second weekend on 4,163 screens. With an estimated weekend take of $29.7 million, the new domestic total for Grindelwald stands at $117 million. A final near the $170 million mark is possible for the sequel, a far cry from the $234 million banked by the first Fantastic Beasts during its run two years ago.

The internationally run for Grindelwald continues to compensate for North America’s underwhelming numbers. After two weeks, The Crimes of Grindelwald has conjured up $322.6 million.

Rounding out the top five is Fox’s hit Bohemian Rhapsody with an estimated $14 million from 2,927 venues. Off only 14% from its third week of business, Bohemian Rhapsody has brought in $152 million so far. A final total around $175-180 million is a strong possibility. Overseas, Freddie and the band have earned a superb $320 million.

  1. Instant Family (Paramount) $12.5 million (-14%); $35.7 million
  2. Robin Hood (2018) (Lionsgate) $9.1 million; $14.2 million

It’s not Thanksgiving without turkey, be it at the dinner table or your local multiplex. This year’s cinematic “bird” was this critically despised, long-delayed $100 million production starring Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx.

  1. Widows (Fox) $8 million (-36%); $25.5 million
  2. Green Book (Universal) $5.4 million; $7.8 million

The reviews have been strong for this new drama starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, but the public reception has so far been muted.

  1. A Star is Born (2018) (Warner) $3 million (-30%); $191 million

The post-Thanksgiving frame is always one light on new films and heavy on leftovers. That will definitely be the case this year as The Possession of Hannah Grace will be the sole opener next weekend.

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