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Weekend Box Office: Katniss KOs Creed, Good Dinosaur to Take Thanksgiving Crown

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By Chris Kavan - 11/29/15 at 08:27 PM CT

Although there was plenty of fight at the box office over the long holiday weekend, it was once again Katniss who came out on top with Pixar having the top new debut and Creed coming out swinging as well. Hopes are high that going into December all three films will show some legs - considering the overall response from audiences, I think it's a good bet all these films will stick around until the Star Wars Juggernaut finally hits theaters.


The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 2 managed to hold off both The Good Dinosaur and Creed to take the weekend, with a $51.6 million weekend and, should that number hold, it will be the only film in The Hunger Games franchise to drop less than 50% in its second weekend with a 49.5% hold. The film is nearly to the $200 million mark with a $198.3 million total. Yes, it is still trailing all the other films through the same period, but with a worldwide total in at $440 million - it's certainly going to be another huge hit. While splitting the film into two may have hurt the narrative, it didn't hurt the pocketbooks as both films combined will obviously make much more than a single film could have ever hoped for. With plenty of steam still behind it, $275 still seems like a likely number, with $300 million still a possibility.


Poster for The Good Dinosuar Pixar's The Good Dinosaur boasted the fourth-best Thanksgiving opening of all time with a $39.2 million weekend and a $55.5 million five-day total. As good as that sound, it was also one of the lowest opening for Pixar - coming ahead of Ratatouille ($48 million) but falling short of Cars $60.1 million. The film earned an "A" Cinemascore from audiences and doesn't have any direct competition until Alvin and Chipmunks and Star Wars both hit December 18th (guess which movie is going to be more anticipated?) and thus should have family audiences in its grip until then. The film is looking at around a $200 million total - but it should have no problem doing even better worldwide (it has $28.7 million so far, with many bigger territories, including China, to come) and thus even if it winds up on the lower end for Pixar, there is no doubt the film will still be a money-maker for the studio, even if it is just a blip between Inside Out and Finding Dory.


One of the more anticipated movies of the weekend was the Rocky spinoff drama, Creed. With a big critical push and audience support, the film opened to a very nice $30.1 million weekend (the best yet for a Rocky film) and a $42.6 million five-day total. Following Michael B. Jordon as the son of famous boxer Apollo Creed, it earned an "A" Cinemascore as well. Much like The Good Dinosuar, it should have clear sailing until the 18th of December as well, with a projected total near the $100 million mark. There has even been talk of Sylvester Stallone getting a push for Best Supporting Actor. If the film can capitalize on its good will with critics and audiences alike, it could ride the wave well in to awards season. Not bad at all for a franchise picture going up against some major titans of the box office.


Bond, James Bond, has an excellent hold - dropping just under 15% for the holiday weekend - the best Thanksgiving hold for any Daniel Craig Bond film. Its new total of $176 million also puts it ahead of the domestic totals for both Casino Royale ($167) and Quantum of Solace ($168 million). It will still fall short of Skyfall ($304 million) but its $750 million global tally means it is officially in the black - we'll see how much higher it can go, but I think the insignificant drop means it will continue to play well, even with Creed and The Hunger Games to contend with. I expect it to hit $200 million by next week - we'll see if it can hit $250 million before Star Wars takes everyone's attention.


Even though it went up against Pixar's The Good Dinosaur, Charlie Brown and company held relatively strong with a light 26.5% dip in its fourth weekend. The $9.1 million weekend ($13.5 for the five-day holiday) gives The Peanuts Movie a grand total of $116.8 million. The worldwide total remains low for the time being (as it will for at least another month when it finally hits many other territories) but the total sounds like it will be a minor hit - maybe even enough so that a sequel is in order. We'll find out, but families certainly had their plates full in more ways than one this weekend.

Outside the top five: While most films could boast good news, such was not the case for Victor Frankenstein, the campy, hammy production joins the likes of Our Brand is Crisis, Rock the Kasbah and Jem and the Holograms - it's $2.35 million weekend is now the new "winner" of the worst opening for a film debuting in 2500 plus theaters. It earned just $3.4 million for the five-day holiday. That amounted to a 12th-place finish and its "C" Cinemascore means it will likely survive maybe a week or two before being tossed out like so much leftover theater popcorn. Hey, it did make $10 million overseas (mostly thanks to Russia) so at least it wasn't a compete wash.

In terms of limited release, both the expansion of Spotlight and Brooklyn led to some impressive jumps. Spotlight held on to its eight-place but added about 30% to its week-to-week growth. The film is now playing in nearly 900 theaters and added $4.5 million for a new total of $12.3 million. Meanwhile Brooklyn took a much bigger jump by significantly upping its theater count (adding 734 theaters for a new total of 847) and went from 12th to 9th place with an impressive 230.2% gain. It earned $3.8 million for a new total of $7.2 million.

Another awards contender, The Danish Girl, opened in four theaters for a $185,000 weekend and a $46,250-per-theater average. That was just behind the acclaimed drama Carol (which stayed in four theaters in its second weekend) with $203,076 and a $50,769 per-theater average. I expect both films to expand (much along the lines of Brooklyn and Spotlight) as it looks like the awards season contenders are finally heating up.

In milestone news, The Martian opened to a strong $50 million in China and now boasts a $545.1 worldwide total - good enough for the 9th-best total of the year (and it has a ways to go - it should be able to top Fifty Shades of Gray - one can hope).

Next week the only major new release is the Christmas-themed horror film, Krampus. It's not likely to dislodge any of the big releases and thus I predict next week's box office report will look eerily similar to this one.


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