Thanksgiving week is a great time for America to binge on movies — all right, we ate, now how can we stop talking for two hours?. Families finding solace in group silence had a lot to choose from, with three new wide releases and two gigantic franchises still going strong.
What Won: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
Katniss and co. topped the charts for a second straight weekend, which means people went from Thanksgiving tables to take in the end of the Hunger Games franchise. Those four films made for a gigantic success story, but just how successful are each? Mockingjay Part 2 pulled in the lowest opening weekend out of the series with just over $102 million; its second-weekend tally of $51.6 million is the lowest second weekend of the franchise as well. But that amount equals just a 49.7 percent drop from Part 2’s first weekend, meaning it’s the only Hunger Games movie not to drop over 50 percent in two weeks of wide release. Its $440.7 million worldwide haul also looks impressive before you consider it’s currently the lowest grossing Hunger Games movie around the globe. Look towards next weekend to see the broader context of the movie play out as well, given that the only movie in wide release to compete against it would be the smallish holiday horror movie Krampus.
What Was Disappointing: Victor Frankenstein
Not even James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe could make Victor Frankenstein into anything resembling a hit. The movie’s $2.3 million opening makes it the worst opening ever for a movie playing in more than 2,500 theaters nationwide. It seems like not even Victor Frankenstein himself will be able to bring this one back from the dead. Why didn’t Fox release the movie around a more seasonally appropriate time — Halloween, say, instead of Thanksgiving? It might have been a simple counter-programming strategy for the holiday weekend, yet this year’s Halloween was a wide-open race. No wide release over the Halloween weekend broke the top 5, and the inclination to go see something creepy around Halloween could have given Victor Frankenstein the boost it needed.
What Was Surprising: The Good Dinosaur
Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur surprised at the box office mostly for what it didn’t do rather than for what it did do. Disney has ruled Thanksgiving during the past few years: The Good Dinosaur joins Frozen, Toy Story 2, Tangled, and Enchanted, to round out the top Thanksgiving openings for movies over the five-day holiday box office period. But Pixar and Disney usually open to bigger numbers than The Good Dinosaur’s $39.1 million, the worst opening for a Pixar movie since 1995, when the company’s first feature, Toy Story, opened to $29.1 million. At least The Good Dinosaur has probably captured the attention span of young kids, to the likely chagrin of other kids movie fare like The Peanuts Movie, and it also doesn’t have to worry about other wide-release competition until Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip opens on December 18.
What You Should Take a Chance On: Creed
Director Ryan Coogler’s movie Creed is the definition of a crowd-pleaser. It has the built-in nostalgia for viewers who grew up watching the Rocky franchise but it has enough of its own story to tell to attract a newer and younger audience. Who knew that a spin-off of a 40-year-old movie could still post an impressive $42.6 million in its opening run? The buzz from the phenomenal reviews should keep audiences interested in this underdog story for a new generation enough for it to pass $100 million in the next few weeks.