Thanksgiving often serves up a celebration of new family movies at the box office, but the Walt Disney Co. animated offering Strange World fizzled with viewers out the gates. The production, which had a budget of $180 million, grossed just $18.6 million in ticket sales in its first five days and $11.9 million over the weekend in North American theaters, the studio estimated on Sunday a.
The top spot for the vacation corridor, which runs Wednesday through Sunday, went instead to another Disney film, Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which grossed an additional $64 million over the past five days, of which 45.9 Millions of dollars came over the weekend. The superhero sequel has been dominating the charts for three weekends and has grossed $675.6 million worldwide.
It was a subdued weekend despite a number of well-reviewed options, including Korean War airplane drama Devotion, the nationwide expansion of Timothée Chalamet’s cannibal romance Bones and All and Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery also opened in 600 theaters nationwide for a limited week-long run. It’s the first time a Netflix film has played at the country’s major cinema chains, including AMC, Regal and Cinemark, but neither Netflix nor the exhibitors have provided sales estimates for the film, which only hit streaming on December 23. service is coming. The first “Knives Out” to be released by Lionsgate opened on Thanksgiving weekend 2019 with $41.4 million.
Between the Glass Onion puzzle and the Strange World miss, it was a reminder that trade show business is far from normal. Animated titles from Walt Disney Studios and Pixar make up the top six Thanksgiving openings of all time, including films like Frozen, which grossed $93.6 million in 2013, Ralph Breaks the Internet, which grossed $84.8 million in 2018 dollars, and “Moana,” which grossed $82.1 million when it opened in 2016.
Strange World opened in 4,714 locations on Wednesday, but it was clear from early previews that it was going to be slow. As of Friday, it earned just $5.2 million. “Wakanda Forever,” on the other hand, grossed $18.2 million in 4,258 theaters on Friday and has been running for three weeks.
The animated adventure film’s debut is one of the biggest bombshells in the modern history of the Disney animation studio, akin to the $16 million Thanksgiving opening of “Treasure Planet” in 2002. “Strange World” was produced by Don Hall and Qui Directing and following a family of explorers, Nguyen includes the voices of Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union and Lucy Liu. Reviews were mostly positive, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 73%.
Third place went to “Devotion,” directed by JD Dillard and starring Jonathan Majors and Glenn Powel, which grossed $9 million in its first five days and $6 million over the weekend from 3,405 locations. The film was produced by Black Label Media and distributed by Columbia Pictures in 3,405 locations. The war epic is based on the true story of Jesse Brown, the first black aviator in US Navy history who, along with his friend Tom Hudner, was instrumental in turning the tide in one of the Korean War’s most brutal battles.
The Menu, the satirical foodie thriller starring Ralph Feinnes and Anya Taylor-Joy, finished fourth in its second weekend, with $7.4 million over the past five days and $5.2 million on the weekend. Fifth place went to “Black Adam”.
Sixth place for the weekend went to Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, based on the filmmaker’s own family and teenage years. The Universal release expanded to 638 theaters, grossing $3.1 million over five days and $2.2 million over the weekend.
United Artists Releasing took Bones and All to 2,727 theaters, grossing an estimated $3.6 million during its five-day opening, including $2.2 million over the weekend. According to Exit polls, around 74% of viewers were between the ages of 18 and 34. The R-rated film by Italian director Luca Guadagnino stars Chalamet and Taylor Russell as young cannibals on a road trip through the American Midwest.
In more limited releases, Elegance Bratton’s “The Inspection” expanded to 32 screens and earned $103,033 in five days. The film, which received multiple Independent Spirit Award nominations, will continue to expand in the coming weeks.
Ticket sales are expected to total approximately $125 million. That would be down about 12% from last year, which boasted releases like “Encanto,” which itself opened at $40.6 million with a COVID-19 twist. For cinema owners, “Avatar: The Way of Water” will be put under even more pressure to deliver a big windfall at the end of the year. It starts on December 16th.
Follow AP film writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr.