‘Ralph Breaks the Internet,’ ‘Creed II’ Drive Record Thanksgiving Box Office

Two sequels are driving unprecedented grosses for the holiday weekend

Last Updated: November 23, 2018 @ 8:45 AM

Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and MGM’s “Creed II” are leading what is shaping up to be the biggest Thanksgiving weekend in box office history. ComScore is reporting that Wednesday’s combined grosses set a new day-before-Thanksgiving record with $56 million. That means that this weekend is on its way to breaking the holiday five-day record set in 2013, when “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Frozen” drove the box office to a $294 million total.

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” is currently estimated to finish the weekend in the top three biggest Thanksgiving openings ever. After two days in theaters, “Ralph” heads into the weekend proper with $28.8 million already grossed and industry estimates projecting an $89 million five-day opening.

That’s good for the second-best opening in Thanksgiving box office history, behind the $93 million launch for Frozen. It’s also well above the openings for more recent Disney Thanksgiving openings, as “Moana” opened to $82 million in 2016 and “Coco” opened to $72 million in 2017. “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” as expected, has been a hit with critics and audiences alike, scoring an A- on CinemaScore and an 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Creed II,” meanwhile, has grossed $19 million after two days in theaters and is currently estimated for a $60 million opening. That’s a 43 percent jump over the $42 million five-day start for the first “Creed” in 2015. While many live-action films have posted stronger numbers than “Creed II” on Thanksgiving after opening the weekend prior, this $60 million result would be the best opening for any live-action Thanksgiving release, topping the $49 million for the 2007 Disney film “Enchanted.”

Michael B. Jordan, who returns to play the titular boxer after his acclaimed performance in “Black Panther,” was seen as a major boost to moviegoer interest in this sequel, as audiences are raving with an A on CinemaScore to go with the film’s 82 percent RT score.

Two holdover releases, WB’s “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” and Illumination/Universal’s “The Grinch,” are also driving business with estimated five-day totals of $43 million and $40 million, respectively.

But while “The Grinch” is on its way to hitting $200 million domestic by the end of the month, “Fantastic Beasts 2” finds itself 27 percent behind the pace of its 2016 predecessor. The sequel has grossed $88 million through eight days in theaters and is expected to finish the weekend with a 10-day total of $117 million, compared to $156 million for the first “Fantastic Beasts.”

Outside the top five are this weekend’s two other new releases, Lionsgate’s “Robin Hood” and Universal/DreamWorks’ “Green Book.” “Robin Hood” looks like it will be the flop of the weekend, grossing $5 million so far and projected for just a $15 million opening against a budget reported to be just under $100 million. “Green Book,” meanwhile, is on pace to hit pre-weekend projections of $6-8 million from its targeted release of 1,063 screens, with plans to further expand in December.