AceShowbiz - "Encanto" has charmed moviegoers on its debut weekend. The Disney animated movie has topped the North American box office on the long Thanksgiving weekend, collecting an estimated $40.3 million from 3,980 theaters since its release on Wednesday, November 24, with $27 million from the traditional three-day weekend.
Continuing the tradition, Disney released a family-friendly film around Turkey Day. "Encanto", which tells the story about a family with superhuman abilities, falls short of the studio's Thanksgiving releases, such as "Frozen II" in 2019 ($123.7 million), "Ralph Breaks the Internet" in 2018 ($84.6 million) and "Coco" in 2017 ($71 million).
The opening number, however, is enough to launch "Encanto", which received rave reviews from critics and an average grade of "A" on CinemaScore, to the top of the domestic chart. It is also the best opening weekend for an animated film during the pandemic, indicating that parents have gained more confidence to bring their children back to theaters.
David A. Gross, who runs the film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research, is pleased with the first weekend result. "This is a fair opening by pandemic standards, and a weak opening by Disney historical standards," he said.
"This weekend again showed how the box office continues to take baby steps in the long-term pandemic rebound," Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, weighed in. "Many consumers remain cautious, especially with new Covid variants making headlines."
Robbins added, " 'Encanto' and 'House of Gucci' each made considerable strides toward bringing back families and adult moviegoers, respectively, without the draw of a franchise title. 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' also began to show its potential for staying power through the holiday season."
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore, echoed the sentiment as saying, "After all the talk of the reticence of certain demographics to go to the movie theater - more mature audiences and family audiences - both came out this weekend. This Thanksgiving weekend at the box office should be very encouraging to the industry, for whom these audiences have been the toughest to bring back to movie theaters."
Released a week before Thanksgiving, "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" has added approximately $35.3 over the 5-day weekend, with around $25.5 from the traditional weekend. It falls one spot to No. 2, followed by new release "House of Gucci" at No. 3. The Ridley Scott-directed film, which dramatizes the downfall of the family behind the luxurious fashion brand, bagged an estimated $14.2 million over the three-day weekend and $21.8 million over its first five days.
At No. 4 is Marvel's "Eternals", which falls two spots with an estimated $7.9 million over the last three days and $11.4 million on the long weekend. Another new release, "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City", rounds out the top five with approximately $5.3 million over the three-day weekend and $8.8 million on its first five days.
Top 10 of North America Box Office (Nov. 24-28, 2021):