We’re in for a record-breaking Box Office treat this Thanksgiving weekend, with five (yes, five) new releases wetting the appetites of cinemagoers across the United States. The five-day holiday period kicked off on Wednesday and saw ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’, the sequel to 2012s ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, fight it out against ‘Rocky’ spinoff ‘Creed 2’ with a Thanksgiving record Tuesday preview gross of $3.8m, just ahead of ‘Creed 2’s $3.7m.
Questions were being asked about Disney’s decision to spend $175m on a sequel over 6 years after ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ flattered to deceive in the Box Office. Its so-so $49m opening in November 2012, followed by a $189.4m domestic finish (and $471.2m worldwide gross) off the back of a $165m budget leaves it just 46th on the all-time biggest domestic animated films, and doesn’t even crack the top 50 worldwide.
‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’s preview gross however shows an audience whose anticipation has sky-rocketed in the half-decade since, with critical reception equaling the lofty heights the first film set. The sequel sees the return of the beloved voices of John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, alongside newbies Gal Gadot and Taraji P. Henson. Director Rich Moore returns to the chair and shares the credit with ‘Zootopia’ writer Phil Johnston.
Disney aims to top the Thanksgiving Box Office charts for the third year in a row, with ‘Moana’ ($56.6m) and ‘Coco’ ($50.8m) providing a glimpse into the potential Box Office prowess of ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’. A $60m 3-day gross, just $7m short of the Thanksgiving record set by Frozen in 2013, and an $84m 5-day total won’t necessarily see Ralph break the internet, but it’ll get mightily close to doing so.
Steven Caple Jr.’s ‘Creed 2’ won’t go down without a fight however. Its $3.7m Tuesday preview gross more than doubles the first’s $1.4m 3 years ago. The lack of Coogler isn’t dampening the excitement either – its Cinemascore of A is the best of the new releases this holiday period.
The film sees Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), son of deceased Apollo, facing off against the son of his father’s killer, Viktor Drago. Sylvester Stallone, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Rocky Balboa in the last film, returns alongside Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad.
It won’t just be Adonis facing a title bid. ‘Creed 2’s forecasted $39m 3-day start will see it break ‘The Blind Side’s $34.1m opening record for a sports movie, and even drawing it close to ‘Creed’s 5-day $42m Thanksgiving start. While ‘Creed’ made a total of $109.8m domestically and $173.6m worldwide in 2015, its sequel has ambitions of breaking the $200m global mark, becoming studio MGM’s biggest hit since 2008s ‘Valkyrie’.
Not all films are eating well this Thanksgiving, however, with Lionsgate’s ‘Robin Hood’ feeding off of Box Office scraps. An estimated $14m 3-day gross doesn’t seem too problematic on the surface, but its bloated $100m budget means that any hopes of the film turning a profit remain as mythical as Robin Hood himself.
Being produced by one of the world’s greatest actors in Leonardo DiCaprio hasn’t seemed to aid the film critically either, as its paltry 11% on Rotten Tomatoes diminishes all hopes of a leggy Box Office run. Opening in just 2,800 cinemas is possibly the icing on the cake for the latest iteration of the British legend, which sees Taron Egerton play Robin of Loxley, Jamie Foxx as Little John, Eve Hewson as Maid Marian, and Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham.
The final two new releases this Thanksgiving holiday come in the form of Oscar hopeful ‘Green Book’ and Hugh Jackman-fronted ‘The Front Runner’. Both are coming off the backs of limited releases, but while ‘Green Book’ may break into the top ten with a 3-day gross close to $5m, ‘The Front Runner’ will be D.O.A., earning just $1m in its 3rd weekend.
We’re likely to see the biggest Thanksgiving weekend ever by Sunday night – propelled by the efforts of ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ and ‘Creed 2’. However, will ‘Robin Hood’ exceed expectations, or hinder this weekend’s potential record-breaking efforts? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.