‘Strange World’ Is a Historic Bomb for Disney on a Weak Thanksgiving Box Office Weekend

Overall grosses are worse than Thanksgiving 2021 as the third weekend of “Wakanda Forever” is blowing out new releases

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The Thanksgiving box office has brought a lot of good and a lot of bad for Disney. While Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is continuing to perform strongly with an estimated 5-day total of $65 million, the Disney Animation newcomer “Strange World” is turning out to be one of the biggest bombs in the history of the studio’s founding division.

Projected for an already poor 5-day opening of $30 million, “Strange World” will now be lucky to even hit $20 million for the extended period after making just $11.2 million between Wednesday and Friday. With a reported budget of $120-130 million, the film’s performance relative to its price tag is drawing comparisons to Disney’s infamous 2002 bomb “Treasure Planet,” a film that earned just $16.6 million during its Thanksgiving opening and went on to make just $110 million worldwide against its $140 million budget before inflation.

But at least “Treasure Planet” earned an A- from audiences on CinemaScore. What’s much more shocking than the opening weekend numbers for “Strange World” is its CinemaScore grade of B from opening day audiences. It is the first Walt Disney Animation film to fail to earn an A or A- on CinemaScore. On Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak, the film earned a somewhat better result with a 4/5 score on CinemaScore, with women giving the film big thumbs up with a 91% overall positive rating while men over 25 were far more tepid with a 66% overall positive rating.

Between 2016 and 2019, the Thanksgiving box office was lifted by a strong opening from a new Disney animated movie. With “Strange World” failing to carry that load, overall grosses for the weekend are set to finish at $137 million, below the $142 million earned last Thanksgiving at the onset of the COVID-19 Omicron wave, with “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” contributing about 48% of that overall gross.

Of the non-Disney fare hitting theaters this weekend, the one believed to be faring best is Netflix’s “Glass Onion,” the sequel to Rian Johnson’s 2019 mystery film “Knives Out” which is getting a one-week limited engagement before hitting streaming next month.

As usual, Netflix is not reporting box office numbers for the film, though distributors tell TheWrap they believe the film is tracking for a $10-12 million total over five days from 698 theaters in North America, enough to put it in third place on the charts. While the film doesn’t have a CinemaScore, “Glass Onion” has done very well on Rotten Tomatoes with critics and audience scores both at 93%.

Sony’s Korean War drama “Devotion” is in fourth, meeting projections with an estimated $9.2 million extended opening from 3,405 theaters. Reception has been strong with an A- on CinemaScore and Rotten Tomatoes scores of 80% critics and 92% audience.

Searchlight’s horror satire “The Menu” completes the Top 5 with an estimated $7.2 million extended total, bringing its total to $18.7 million. The Mark Mylod film is beating out fellow festival horror film “Bones and All,” which was released by MGM on 2,727 screens and is estimated to earn a $3.5 million extended opening. Both films have a B on CinemaScore.

Finally, Universal expanded Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” to 638 screens, earning an estimated $3.1 million over five days. The studio is hoping that the Oscar favorite can leg out with strong word-of-mouth over several weeks if not months in the way that many awards contenders did prior to the pandemic.