Coco has struck a chord. Disney and Pixar’s vibrant Día de los Muertos-themed animated musical is poised to debut with an estimated $71.2 million from 3,987 theaters in the U.S. and Canada over the long holiday weekend, easily displacing last week’s box office champ, the struggling superhero team-up Justice League.
Coco‘s five-day bow — $49 million of which comes from the Friday-Sunday frame — marks the fourth-highest Thanksgiving opening ever, not adjusting for inflation, behind Frozen ($93.6 million), Moana ($82.1 million), and Toy Story 2 ($80.1 million). It also gives Disney 10 of the top 11 Turkey Day openings all time and comes as good news for Pixar in the wake of co-founder John Lasseter taking a six-month leave due to unspecified “missteps” that made some staffers feel “disrespected or uncomfortable.”
Directed by Lee Unkrich and co-directed by Adrian Molina, Coco received glowing reviews from critics (it’s currently rated 96% “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes) and a coveted A-plus CinemaScore from moviegoers, suggesting that word of mouth should be strong. The film, which centers on a 12-year-old Mexican boy who confronts his family’s ancestral ban on music, has grossed an additional $82.2 million from foreign markets. Coco‘s cast includes newcomer Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, and Alanna Ubach.
In second place, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s big-budget spectacle Justice League is on track to take in about $63 million over five days, and $40.7 million Friday-Sunday. The latter figure represents a 57 percent decline from an underwhelming first weekend and doesn’t bode particularly well for the uneven DC Extended Universe, which Justice League was intended to be the standard-bearer for.
That said, the Zack Snyder-directed movie has added about $309.8 million overseas, putting its worldwide total at $481.3 million. Despite unenthusiastic reviews and a mediocre B-plus CinemaScore, Justice League has been buoyed by a star-studded cast that includes Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller. (Joss Whedon, an alum of Disney and Marvel’s rival Avengers franchise, also oversaw extensive reshoots as Snyder dealt with a family tragedy.)
Rounding out the top five this weekend are a trio of holdovers: Lionsgate’s family film Wonder, with about $32.3 million over five days ($22.3 million Friday-Sunday); Disney’s superhero threequel Thor: Ragnarok, with about $24.3 million over five days ($16.8 million Friday-Sunday); and Paramount’s comedy Daddy’s Home 2, with about $18.6 million over five days ($13.3 million Friday-Sunday).
In limited release, director Luca Guadagnino’s critically acclaimed love story Call Me by Your Name is set to gross an estimated $405,000 (Friday-Sunday) from four locations in New York and Los Angeles, for a per-theater average of $101,000 per screen — the highest such mark this year. Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer star in the film, about an affair between a precocious 17-year-old boy and a mysterious, handsome grad student in northern Italy. Sony Pictures Classics is distributing.
Also notching a solid opening this weekend is Focus Features’ World War II drama Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. Playing in four locations, it’s on pace for about $176,000 Friday-Sunday, for a per-theater average of $44,005. (Its five-day opening is estimated at $248,000.)
Meanwhile, the Denzel Washington legal drama Roman J. Israel Esq. expanded from four theaters to 1,669 but failed to connect with audiences, who gave it a soft B CinemaScore. The Sony release on track to gross about $6.2 million over five days and $4.5 million Friday-Sunday, good for ninth place.
According to ComScore, overall box office is down 4 percent year-to-date. Check out the Nov. 24-26 figures below.
1. Coco — $49 million ($71.2 million five-day)
2. Justice League — $40.7 million ($63 million five-day)
3. Wonder — $22.3 million ($32.3 million five-day)
4. Thor: Ragnarok — $16.8 million ($24.3 million five-day)
5. Daddy’s Home 2 — $13.3 million ($18.6 million five-day)
6. Murder on the Orient Express — $13 million ($18.6 million five-day)
7. The Star — $6.9 million ($9.5 million five-day)
8. A Bad Moms Christmas — $5 million ($6.8 million five-day)
9. Roman J. Israel Esq. — $4.5 million ($6.2 million five-day)
10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri — $4.4 million ($$5.9 million five-day)