Thanksgiving Weekend Box Office Ralph Won The Weekend, But Creed II Broke A Record

‘Ralph’ might not have broken a weekend box office record, but ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ still did extraordinarily well, with the second-highest Thanksgiving weekend opening of all time, trailing behind only ‘Frozen’s $93.5M in 2013.  Earning $84.5M, ‘Ralph’ bested 2016’s ‘Moana’ ($82M), 1999’s ‘Toy Story 2’ ($80.1M) and last year’s ‘Coco’ ($72.9M).  Before its opening, ‘Ralph’ was being projected to open upwards of $60M, but it easily stomped past that.  Critics enjoyed it, giving the film an 86% positive ranking on Rotten Tomatoes.  Audiences gave it a healthy A- via PostTrak.

Part of the appeal of ‘Ralph’ was the inclusion of other Disney properties, most notably the Princesses but also ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel characters.  On social media, Disney was able to push ‘Ralph’ not just on its own pages and accounts but those of ‘Frozen’, ‘Moana’, et. al.  According to RelishMix, social media activity for ‘Ralph’ clocks in at 856.9M views.

‘Ralph’ might have fallen short of ‘Frozen’s opening, but ‘Creed II’ broke the record for highest Thanksgiving llive-actionopening, with $55.8M topping 2007’s (mostly live action) ‘Enchanted’ which opened with $49M, and 2008’s ‘Four Christmases’ and 2000’s ‘Unbreakable’ which both took in $46M.

The first ‘Creed’ was a rock solid hit with a strong opening and critical reaction, but it was the inclusion of Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago and the introduction of his son, Viktor (played by Florian ‘Big Nasty’ Munteanu) that especially fired up old school fans of the ‘Rocky’ movies.  Like the first, critics have reacted positively, with its Rotten Tomatoes score at 81%.  Audiences liked ‘Creed II’ even more than ‘Ralph’, giving it a PostTrak ranking of A.

However, as great as both movies did, the highest Thanksgiving weekend haul ever still belongs to ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘ which earned $109.9M in 2013, however, that movie was in its second weekend, so ‘Creed II’ is still the best live action opening Thanksgiving weekend.  (Likewise, when ‘Frozen’ premiered, it was the #2 movie in the country, but still stands as the highest T’giving opening.)  Overall, this was the best Thanksgiving weekend overall on record.

  1. Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney) – $54.8M 3Day/ $84.5M 5Day
  2. Creed II (MGM/New Line) – $36M 3Day/ $55.8M 5Day
  3. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner Brothers) – $29M 3Day/$42.1M 5Day
  4. The Grinch (Universal/Illuminations) – $28.5M 3Day/ $40.4M 5Day
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody (20th Century Fox/New Regency/GK Films) – $13.3M 3Day/ $18.9M 5Day

Lionsgate’s ‘Robin Hood’, which had a budget of around $100M before promotion and advertising, looks to be one of the biggest flops of the year, making just $13.9M over five days.  This follows last year’s similar bomb, ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’.  (Joby Harold, who co-wrote that script also wrote this one and served as executive producer.)  These old intellectual properties do not deliver when it comes to today’s audiences.  The casting of Taron Egerton didn’t help as most fans were confused by the clearly modern factory stitched costumes and the inclusion of what essentially boils down to automatic weaponry.  Some feel that this film came too soon after the Ridley Scott-directed, Russell Crowe-starring ‘Robin Hood’ from 2010.  Eight years is too soon?  Looks like.  (Prior to that picture’s release, it had been 19 years since the Kevin Costner take, ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’.)

Also, the Russell Crowe movie was a flop in the US.  It managed to do okay, once international box office was added in, so this new version not only came too soon for moviegoers, but it was another movie about a character that no one cared about eight years ago, and haven’t become interested in, in the meantime.  Like with that film, Lionsgate is going to have to hope that this ‘Robin Hood’ garners interest from the global audience, but usually, a poor performance in the US tends to taint a movie’s foreign release.

What’s ironic is that Lionsgate “won” the race with ‘Robin Hood’.  Back in 2014-15, Disney, Sony and Warner Brothers were also rushing to create their own ‘Robin Hood’ movies.  Disney was, not surprisingly, aiming for a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’-style picture.  However, Lionsgate liked Harold’s script, snatched it up and put their version into production first, so the other studios abandoned their plans.  Uh… kudos?

Clearly, it doesn’t help that ‘Robin Hood’ is just a terrible movie.  Our reviewer Dave Taylor gave it ZERO atoms out of five, and he tends to be a lot more generous with films than I am.  It has a dismal 11% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes.  The New York Times‘ Glenn Kenny wrote, “Jamie Foxx must have lost a bet.”

There is nothing major opening next weekend, so this weekend’s champs will coast through another.  Three alternative indies will be rolling out– the urban drama ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’, horror/comedy ‘Anna and the Apocalypse’ and straight-up horror, ‘The Possession of Hannah Grace’.  So if you’re sick of family fare, these could offer alternatives, but none of them is going to dethrone ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’.