With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’s big opening last weekend and a trio of new wide releases hitting theaters on Wednesday, Thanksgiving is shaping up to be a busy five days at the box office.
Currently, the race for first is a bit of a tossup between The Good Dinosaur and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. Katniss and company opened above $100 million but under expectations, and while Mockingjay is the current favorite to win in its second weekend, there’s some uncertainty over how it’ll play out over Turkey Day.
Here’s how this weekend’s box office race might shape up. (All predictions are for the five-day weekend, starting Wednesday.)
1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 — $70 million
The last chapter in the Hunger Games saga debuted last weekend to $102.7 million, the lowest entry in the entire franchise. Still, an $100 million opening is hardly bad news, and Mockingjay – Part 2 secured its place as the fifth-biggest debut of the year. To date, all four Hunger Games movies have grossed more than $2.55 billion worldwide. That being said, because Mockingjay 2 opened so far below the other films in the franchise, it’s a little hard to predict what it will do in its second weekend. Last year’s Mockingjay – Part 1, which also opened the weekend before Thanksgiving, debuted to $121.9 million and fell to $82.7 million over the five-day Thanksgiving frame, a drop of about 32 percent. If Part 2 performs similarly, it should have a five-day weekend just shy of $70 million.
2. The Good Dinosaur — $60 million
For the first time ever, Pixar is releasing two movies in the same year, and after the astronomical success of Inside Out in June, The Good Dinosaur is headed for a slightly quieter debut. Inside Out snagged the biggest original box office debut in history, opening to $90 million — although it did become the first-ever Pixar film to not debut in first place. (It later usurped Jurassic World to hit No. 1.) There’s a chance The Good Dinosaur could become the second Pixar film to hold that distinction, as it’s expected to debut around $60 million over the five-day frame and somewhere in the $40-million range over three days.
That’s on the low side for a Pixar debut, as the vast majority of Pixar releases open at $60 million or higher over three days. The Good Dinosaur hasn’t really been met with the same critical fervor as other Pixar flicks, and it only has an 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to Inside Out’s stellar 98 percent. Still, 87 percent is hardly a terrible rating, and family-friendly movies are almost guaranteed box office gold at Thanksgiving. Eight of the 10 biggest Thanksgiving debuts of all time came from Disney, and if The Good Dinosaur performs as expected, it should earn itself a place on that list.
Pixar usually doesn’t release budget information, but its films tend to fall between $175 and $200 million. The Good Dinosaur is opening in more than 3,700 theaters.
3. Creed — $35 million
The seventh entry in the Rocky franchise stars Sylvester Stallone as the aging boxer, who begins to train the young, illegitimate son (Michael B. Jordan) of his nemesis-turned-friend Apollo Creed. Creed has been met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, boasting a phenomenal 95 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and even generating some Oscar buzz. Opening in more than 3,400 theaters and with a budget of about $37 million, Creed is expected to bring in about $35 million over five days.
4. Victor Frankenstein — $12 million
This weekend’s final wide release is Victor Frankenstein, starring James McAvoy as the doctor and Daniel Radcliffe as Igor. It isn’t expected to reach as high as Creed or The Good Dinosaur, and instead, it’s eyeing a debut around $12 million.
5. Spectre — $11 million
James Bond is expected to round out the top five this Thanksgiving weekend, with a five-day estimate around $11 million. To date, Spectre has raked in more than $155.7 million domestically for a global total just shy of $679 million.
At the specialty box office, The Danish Girl will also open in four theaters this weekend, telling the story of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe, played by Eddie Redmayne.