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Box Office: Thanksgiving Eve raises concerns as Disney Animation’s ‘Strange World’ and other new movies battle over leftovers

The Thanksgiving box office is off to a decidedly worrying start, with overall sales pale in comparison to other years.

For Disney, it seems like a case of feast or famine. While Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will remain at the top of the box office chart for the third weekend in a row with a solid gross of $60 million to $65 million for its five days (Wednesday through Sunday), Disney Animation’s Strange world is in serious trouble.

Wakanda forever led Wednesday with $10 million from 4,174 theaters for a domestic total of $313.7 million.

However, there was no partying Strange world, which posted an opening day gross of $4.2 million from 4,174 sites after earning a lukewarm B CinemaScore. At this rate, the family movie is looking at a $24 million-$26 million five-day opening, the worst opening for a Disney Animation Thanksgiving title in history (Disney Animation titles, such as Frozenusually dominate the holidays.)

Last year, Encanto posted a five-day gross of $40.6 million after making $7.8 million on Wednesday despite the challenges of the COVID-10 pandemic. And in 2019, Frozen 2 grossed a record $125 million for the five days.

Strange world opens just days after Bob Iger’s return as CEO of Walt Disney Co. after the shock impeachment of Bob Chapek.

A slew of other new movies are also vying for their place at the Thanksgiving table. On Wednesday, Sony’s Korea War drama Dedication, about two Navy fighter pilots, grossed $1.8 million from 3,228 locations for a projected 5-day gross in the $10 million range. The movie stars Top gun: Maverick‘s Glen Powell and Jonathan Majors.

The big mystery is that of Rian Johnson Glass Onion: A Mystery of the Blades, with a cast led by Daniel Craig. Netflix is ​​not expected to report box office revenue in line with its long-standing practice of hiding numbers from view.

Glass onion is getting an unprecedented release and is the first of the streamer titles to play across all three of the nation’s largest chains: AMC Theaters, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark Theaters. Rival distribution managers still have their way of collecting data directly from exchange contacts, two sources say The Hollywood Reporter that Johnson’s sequel likely made $1.9 million from 680 theaters on Wednesday. That means it could open $9 million or more during the five-day holiday corridor, far less than the $41.4 million Johnson’s brought in. Knives out during Thanksgiving 2019 (The first film received a traditional Lionsgate theatrical release.)

Searchlight’s epicurean horror comedy The menuentering its second weekend, placed No. 4 on Wednesday with approximately $1.1 million from 3,228 venues for a solid five-day haul of approximately $6 million.

Luca Guadagnino’s award candidate Bones and all — about two young lovers and cannibals played by Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet who embark on a road trip — grossed an estimated $921,000 million on Wednesday as it expanded to a total of 2,727 theaters after launching in select theaters last weekend. The special film is expected to have a muted five-day gross of $4 million.

Semi-autobiographical by Steven Spielberg The Fablesa major award player, rolls out more slowly in hopes of emulating the success of an Oscar-winning film Green book. Spielberg’s latest film premiered in New York and Los Angeles over the weekend of Nov. 11-13 before expanding to 637 locations on Wednesday. From Universal and Amblin, the picture earned an estimated $400,000 on Wednesday for an expected five-day gross of $3 million.

Surplus Black Adam is also in the mix with a projected five-day gross of $4 million or so from 2,842 theaters.

Studios stress that projections may shift as the holiday progresses. Some analysts already hypothesize that Thanksgiving box office traffic will take a hit as people can finally travel in earnest now that the worst of the pandemic is over.

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