Pixar’s “Coco” is off to a strong start on its Thanksgiving weekend launch, with industry estimates projecting a five-day opening of $71 million after the film made $18.6 million on Black Friday. Released on Wednesday, the 19th Pixar film has made $40 million through three days in theaters.
If “Coco” keeps this pace, it will rank third among five-day Thanksgiving openings, sitting behind “Frozen” ($93.6 million) and “Moana” ($82 million). On the other hand, it will be significantly higher than the $55.4 million made by “The Good Dinosaur,” which went on to be Pixar’s lowest grossing film ever with $123 million. “Coco” should have no problem blowing by that total and the $152.9 million made by Pixar’s other 2017 release, “Cars 3,” as its A+ CinemaScore and 95 percent Rotten Tomatoes score point to strong word of mouth that should keep bringing in strong numbers even when “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” hits theaters in three weeks.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ “Justice League” added $16.5 million on Friday to bring its running Thanksgiving total to $35.3 million and its five-day estimate to $60 million. With an eight-day total of $147.3 million, “Justice League” is currently running 12 percent ahead of the pace set by “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which Warner Bros. released in the same pre-Thanksgiving weekend as “Justice League” in 2016 and grossed $234 million domestic. However, despite featuring six famous DC superheroes, it is still pacing to be the lowest grossing DC Extended Universe film, currently 11 percent behind the pace set by “Wonder Woman” earlier this year.
As noted last week, part of the problem for “Justice League” is that moviegoers have other options this weekend that have received better critical reception, and “Coco” is just one of those films. Also chipping away at family audience interest is Lionsgate’s “Wonder,” which is projected to make $32 million over five days after adding $8.7 million on Friday. That would give it an estimated 10-day total of just under $70 million, a good result for this film with its $20 million price tag. Meanwhile, general superhero audiences still have “Thor: Ragnarok” as an option, and that film is continuing to pull away some casual moviegoers from “Justice League” with a $6.6 million Friday total and an estimated $24 million five-day count.
Fox’s “Murder on the Orient Express” is in fifth with an estimated five-day count of just under $19 million. Outside the top five, Columbia’s “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” expanded to 1,648 screens after a limited release last weekend. The Denzel Washington legal drama is estimated to take $6.5 million over the extended weekend.