'Ralph' Delivers Second Largest Thanksgiving Opening Ever While 'Creed II' Punches Up $55M Debut
by Brad Brevet
November 25, 2018
It was a massive five days at the box office, the last three days of which resulted in the largest Thanksgiving three-day weekend ever with the top twelve films combining for over $206 million. Leading the way was Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet, which brought in the second largest Thanksgiving five-day gross of all-time followed by MGM's Creed II with the largest holiday opening ever for a live-action film. Despite the performances of these two films, it wasn't all success stories, however, as Summit's big budget attempt at Robin Hood collapsed both with critics and audiences.
With a massive $84.5 million domestically in its first five days, Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet easily topped the weekend box office with what ranks as the second largest Thanksgiving five-day opening of all-time. This gives Walt Disney Animation Studios the top three Thanksgiving debuts ever while Disney overall holds eleven of the top thirteen Thanksgiving five-day debuts. By comparison, Ralph's debut is $2.5 million more than Moana's five-day opening back in 2016 before it went on to gross nearly $250 million domestically.
GET MORE: Compare some of the top, animated Thanksgiving hits!
Ralph was a hit with critics heading into the weekend — 33 on Metacritic and 86% on RottenTomatoes — and audiences agreed, giving the film an "A-" CinemaScore. Similar to Wreck-It Ralph in 2012, the film played to a crowd of which 44% were 25 years of age or older, but one big difference is the sequel played to a crowd that was 51% female compared to the first film which skewed male at 55%.
Internationally, Ralph delivered an estimated $41.5 million from 18 markets for a $125.9 million global debut. Leading the way is China with an estimated $19.5 million debut, which is just behind Incredibles 2's $20.9 million opening in the market, while +14% ahead of Coco and +45% ahead of Moana's debuts. Additional markets include a $6.3 million debut in Mexico and $5.7 million opening in Russia. The film will open in the UK next weekend followed by openings in Spain (Dec 5), Japan (Dec 21), Australia (Dec 26), Italy (Jan 1), South Korea (Jan 3), Brazil (Jan 3), Germany (Jan 24) and France (Feb 13).
Overall, Disney reports with Ralph Breaks The Internet's $41.5 million debut it is currently tracking almost three times greater than the original Wreck-It Ralph compared to the same suite of territories at current exchange rates. The original film went on to gross $281.8 million internationally and over $471 million worldwide.
Finishing in second is MGM's Creed II with a massive, $55.8 million five-day debut. The performance is not only the seventh largest Thanksgiving five-day opening of all-time, but the largest opening for a live-action film over the Thanksgiving weekend ever. The performance is also $16 million ahead of the original, which finished with $109.7 million domestic.
Audiences gave Creed II an "A" CinemaScore, matching that of the original, which means word of mouth on the sequel is likely help this one as much as it did the first. The film also played to a more balanced audience than the original, playing to a crowd that was 57% male compared to 66% for the first film while 64% of the audience was aged 25 or older, with the single largest quad being 25-34 year olds at 30%.
WB's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald landed in third for the five-day holiday, narrowly edging out Universal and Illumination's The Grinch. The Fantastic Beasts sequel delivered an estimated $42.9 million for a domestic cume that now stands at $117.1 million. With an additional $83.7 million internationally this weekend, the film was once again the #1 film globally for the second weekend in a row with a worldwide cume that now totals $439.7 million.
As for The Grinch, it brought in an estimated $42 million over the five-day holiday frame for a domestic cume that now totals over $180 million as it will soon find its way into the yearly top ten. Internationally the film opened in 11 additional markets and brought in $7.6 million from 33 total markets for an international cume that now stands at $35.3 million. The film launches in 23 additional markets next weekend, key among them being France, Australia, Italy, Germany and Spain.
Fox's Bohemian Rhapsody rounds out the top five with an estimated $19.37 million over the five-day holiday for a domestic cume that now totals over $152 million. The film also added an additional $38 million internationally this weekend, pushing its global tally to $472.1 million.
It isn't until seventh position that we find Lionsgate's release of Summit's Robin Hood, a film that carries reported budget around $100 million, which means its meager, $14.2 million five-day opening makes it one of the biggest busts of 2018. Critics panned the film, which scored a 33 on Metacritic and a 11% on RottenTomatoes, and while the "B" CinemaScore isn't disastrous, the opening result shows there just wasn't much of an audience for this one in the first place.
Internationally, the film didn't fair much better, bringing in an estimated $8.7 million from 33 markets. The UK led the way with an estimated $1.7 million while it brought in $1.2 million in the Middle East followed by Australia ($901k), Italy ($885k) and Malaysia ($530k). The film will open in France, Belgium, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Mexico, Norway and Sweden next weekend followed by a December 5 opening in Spain and a mid-January debut in Germany.
In ninth position we find Universal's expansion of Green Book into 1,063 locations (+1,038) after its limited bow last weekend. The film brought in an estimated $7.4 million for the five-day. Carrying a reported budget of $23 million, it would appear the studio may have gone a bit too wide too soon with this one, which is a hit with critics at 82% on RottenTomatoes and audiences also love what they're seeing, giving the film an "A+" CinemaScore, but is there enough word of mouth to propel this one over the coming weeks?
Rounding out the top ten is WB's A Star is Born, which now carries a domestic cume totaling $191 million. This makes the film the eighth largest domestic release that never hit #1 at the domestic weekend box office. The film also added another $3.5 million internationally this weekend as its global cume now stands at an impressive $353.4 million.
Outside the top ten, Focus expanded their release of Boy Erased into 672 locations (+263) where it brought in an estimated $1.5 million over the five-day frame for a $4.5 million domestic cume after 24 days in release. And Sony's expansion of The Front Runner into 807 locations (+785), following its Election Day limited bow, struggled to drum up any business, delivering just $885k for a dismal, $1,097 per theater average.
Elsewhere, Fox Searchlight debuted The Favourite in just four locations where the film brought in a hefty, $420,000 in its first three days for a massive, $105,000 per theater average, the best of 2018. The debut is enough to make it one of the top twenty-five opening averages ever. The film will play in 25-30 locations next weekend as it is set to debut in San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, and Phoenix.
Also in limited release, Magnolia's Shoplifters brought in $88,000 from five theaters ($17,600 PTA); Greenwich's The World Before Your Feet debuted with an estimated $22,000 from two theaters; and Music Box's Becoming Astrid brought in $5,121 from three locations ($1,707 PTA).
Next weekend sees one new wide release hitting theaters in the Screen Gems horror The Possession of Hannah Grace, debuting in ~1,900 locations. Warner Bros. will also release the drama Head Full of Honey into four theaters.
Overall, 2018 is now pacing almost +11% ahead of last year's grosses with $10.68 billion and is also pacing +6.4% ahead of the record setting 2016.
You can check out all of this weekend's five-day estimated results right here and the three-day results here. We'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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