Disney/Pixar’s latest triumph, Coco, is expected to top the box office charts for the second consecutive weekend. The animated film took home the Thanksgiving crown with $72.9 million earned in its first five days, besting maligned DC Extended Universe entry Justice League. A new family movie is just what the doctor ordered for the marketplace, as multiplexes have been stuck in something of a commercial slump since IT steamrolled the competition in September. Yes, Thor: Ragnarok was another hit for Marvel Studios, but this October posted the worst numbers in a decade and the aforementioned Justice League underperformed with the lowest opening weekend in the DCEU to date.
Even the impending premiere of surefire smash Star Wars: The Last Jedi won’t be enough to help the 2017 domestic box office top the totals from last year, so there’s a lot of pressure on the current holdovers to have strong legs and score long, fruitful runs at the box office. With this weekend being one of the few in the year without a new wide release (The Disaster Artist and Wonder Wheel play in limited theaters), the high-profile offerings currently playing have a clear path to do just that.
Per Variety, Coco should win the weekend by grossing around $25 million. This would be about a 50 percent decline from its Friday-Sunday haul during its opening frame ($50.8 million), which would be a decent hold. There’s a chance it does a little better than what the projections say, considering the word-of-mouth has been quite strong. Like many Pixar movies, Coco has been praised for its beautiful animation and heartfelt story, so there will still likely be high interest in seeing it. Once again, Justice League is poised to finish in second place with $17 million. To date, the team-up has made just $174 million domestically and remains in danger of being a loss for Warner Bros.
Rounding out the top five should be surprise hit Wonder, Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adaptation Murder on the Orient Express, and comedy sequel Daddy’s Home 2. All three of those movies have found varying degrees of success since they’ve opened, appealing to different demographics. Each has provided their respective target audience with a change-of-pace from the larger tentpole fare, and that should continue this weekend.
It’s not too shocking studios have opted to hold off on any significant releases these next couple of weeks, as anticipation for The Last Jedi has reached a fever pitch. That film is expected to debut to the tune of more than $200 million in its first three days, so it reads as a savvy business decision for Disney’s competition to just steer clear and wait until the Star Wars opening weekend rush has died down (somewhat) before Christmas. Hopefully, the barren landscape won’t hurt the figures too much, but it’s hard to be overly optimistic.
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