Dinosaurs, turkeys and a ‘Rocky’ spinoff: What movies hit or didn’t hit over …

30 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Dinosaurs, turkeys and a ‘Rocky’ spinoff: What movies hit or didn’t hit over the Thanksgiving weekend?.

Thanksgiving weekend is a strong one for moviegoing–between the spate of studio releases and the post-turkey fleeing from homes and families, multiplexes tend to be filled. Of course, the glut of films–from Pixar to “Peanuts” to “Spotlight” to Rocky Balboa–means not every studio is equally satisfied; for every strong opening or hold there was a new release this weekend that came up short. “The Good Dinosaur”—The movie’s $39 million weekend marks the lowest adjusted three-day opening for Pixar in its history, coming in below the $54 million of “Ratatouille” and $45 million of “Toy Story” two decades ago. Katniss and co. topped the charts for a second straight weekend, which means people went from Thanksgiving tables to take in the end of the Hunger Games franchise. Mockingjay Part 2 pulled in the lowest opening weekend out of the series with just over $102 million; its second-weekend tally of $51.6 million is the lowest second weekend of the franchise as well. But that amount equals just a 49.7 percent drop from Part 2’s first weekend, meaning it’s the only Hunger Games movie not to drop over 50 percent in two weeks of wide release.

Two weekends in, it’s the only movie in the series not to hit $200 million in the U.S., which means its totals could fall short of the previous franchise low, “Mockingjay — Part 1’s” $337 million. Lionsgate will nonetheless come out ahead thanks to the enlarged foreign market and the relatively low cost of shooting the final two movies concurrently. You can’t say they’re leaving money on the table. “Spotlight”–We’re starting to head into the witching-hour phase of “Spotlight,” Tom McCarthy’s much-beloved look at the Boston Globe’s investigation of the Catholic Church abuse scandals.

On Thanksgiving weekend it increased its theater count by an additional 50% and came in with nearly the same per-screen. (This despite the fact that the film is hardly typical holiday fare.) McCarthy’s movie is now at $12.4 million a month into its release, with plenty of runway ahead as the inevitable Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild nominations arrive next week. No wide release over the Halloween weekend broke the top 5, and the inclination to go see something creepy around Halloween could have given Victor Frankenstein the boost it needed. But if it’s Oscar comparisons you’re into, the movie is ahead of “Birdman” and nearly equal to “Boyhood”–different movies topically but also critically acclaimed works that got their start with strong festival debuts–at comparable points in their release lives. “Spectre”–The drops have not been bad, all things considered–right in the 50% range each week. Disney has ruled Thanksgiving during the past few years: The Good Dinosaur joins Frozen, Toy Story 2, Tangled, and Enchanted, to round out the top Thanksgiving openings for movies over the five-day holiday box office period. But Pixar and Disney usually open to bigger numbers than The Good Dinosaur’s $39.1 million, the worst opening for a Pixar movie since 1995, when the company’s first feature, Toy Story, opened to $29.1 million.

The film will have to dig in and take in an additional $20 million to catch “Quantum of Solace” and avoid being the lowest domestic grossing Bond film in more than a quarter century (“License to Kill” in 1989). Even it does manage to inch out ahead of “Quantum,” “Spectre” will end up in the bottom half of the overall list–No. 13 of the 25 Bond movies released to date. “Creed”—Before box office analyses can be offered, it’s worth noting another point: The creative side was done right. Rather than being cooked up in a Hollywood Petri dish, the new “Rocky” picture was the idea and initiative of a filmmaker–Ryan Coogler, the talented director behind “Fruitvale Station.” The 29-year-old had a vision for the movie that tied in to the Balboa mythology but wasn’t being driven by it.

It has the built-in nostalgia for viewers who grew up watching the Rocky franchise but it has enough of its own story to tell to attract a newer and younger audience.

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