A few new films are looking to perk up the long Thanksgiving-weekend box office, but as in years past, it looks to be Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) weekend either way.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (DIS) is likely to remain on top of the list, with a typical drop suggesting the superhero hit will crest the $40M mark for the very long weekend. The Marvel film’s first two weeks have resulted in domestic grosses of $294.2M with a worldwide total of $552.2M so far.
But Disney is rolling out a new studio animated film as well, adventure/sci-fi/comedy Strange World, to capture the family audience, and it has an outside chance of topping the long weekend’s gross chart – though even $40M-plus wouldn’t quite compare to some Disney Thanksgiving openings from the pre-pandemic era (such as Frozen II hitting over $123M in 2019).
Meanwhile, a couple of new dramas try their hand in a rough period for that genre at theaters. Steven Spielberg’s coming-of-age film The Fabelmans (CMCSA) launches its wide-release Oscar campaign this weekend, though only in 600 theaters, and wartime drama Devotion (SONY), about the first Black aviator in the U.S. Navy, may be fighting with Spielberg’s film over single-digit totals.
And horror/drama Bones and All (AMZN), with Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell, expands to a nationwide release, though the cannibalistic story targets a more limited audience.
One other notable result comes from Netflix (NFLX), though it won’t make the gross accounting. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, a sequel to surprise hit Knives Out, hits a few hundred theaters for just one week before going dark again and reappearing on Netflix in time for Christmas. But the streamer won’t report grosses for the picture.
As always, just glad for holiday-weekend business are the exhibitor stocks: AMC Entertainment (AMC); Cineworld (OTCPK:CNNWQ); Cinemark (CNK); (IMAX); Marcus (MCS); Reading International (RDI); Cineplex (CGX:CA); National CineMedia (NCMI).
Those cinema stocks made a big pre-Thanksgiving move from the news that Amazon.com (AMZN) was committing more than $1B to a plan to release 12-15 original movies to theaters per year.
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