'Hunger Games' Prequel and 'Napoleon' Rule Thanksgiving Box Office as Disney's 'Wish' Lacks Magic
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The animated movie was projected to land on top of the domestic chart over the Thanksgiving weekend, but it falls short of expectations with a weak $19.5 million opening.

AceShowbiz - "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" still tops the game on its second weekend. Lionsgate's dystopian action film could not be dethroned by some newcomers during the crowded holiday race, leading the North American chart with an estimated $28.8 million over the traditional weekend.

"The Hunger Games" prequel bagged an estimated $42 million for the five-day frame. After opening last week with $44 million, the lowest start of the franchise, it dropped 35% in its second week, the smallest of both the franchise and of any blockbuster in 2023.

Joaquin Phoenix's "Napoleon" cannot conquer the domestic chart, but it manages to land at No. 2 with a better-than-expected $20.4 million over the traditional weekend and $32.5 million in its first five days of release. The Ridley Scott-directed war epic has made $78.8 million globally so far.

The movie came in well ahead of expectations for an adult drama. Its performance is also impressive considering the so-so reviews with an average rating of 6.2/10 on Rotten Tomatoes and a B- CinemaScore from moviegoers.

The top two movies this weekend apparently distracted moviegoers' attention from "Wish". Disney's latest release lacks charms as it lands at No. 3 with an estimated $19.5 million for the three days and $31.7 million for the five days.

Heading into the holiday, the animated movie was projected to top the domestic chart over the Thanksgiving weekend with $35 million over the traditional weekend and $45 million to $50 million in its first five days of release. However, it fell short of expectations with a weak opening.

International ticket sales added $17.3 million to the movie's current global tally of $49 million so far. "Wish", featuring the voices of Ariana DeBose and Chris Pine, earned an A- CinemaScore from audiences though it received less favorable reviews from critics.

At the fourth place, "Trolls Band Together" added an estimated $17.5 million, bringing its domestic gross to $64.5 million and its worldwide revenue to $145.8 million. "Thanksgiving" falls two places to No. 5 with an estimated $7.3 million, dropping only 29.4% from last week.

Overall, the 2023 Thanksgiving box office was up a hefty 40 percent or more from last year with $172 million in ticket sales, the highest tally since the pandemic slowed down the movie theater business. But it hasn't lived up to pre-COVID times, when revenues regularly topped $250 million.

"Despite the overall Thanksgiving frame coming in lower than in the pre-2020 era, this week's results are encouraging for theaters heading into the end of the year," says senior Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Top 10 of North American Box Office (Nov. 24-26, 2023):

  1. "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" - $28.8 million
  2. "Napoleon" - $20.4 million
  3. "Wish" - $19.5 million
  4. "Trolls Band Together" - $17.5 million
  5. "Thanksgiving" - $7.3 million
  6. "The Marvels" - $6.4 million
  7. "The Holdovers" - $2.8 million
  8. "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" - $2.3 million
  9. "Five Nights at Freddy's" - $1.8 million
  10. "Saltburn" - $1.7 million

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