‘Wish’ To Rise Disney Animation’s Star Over Thanksgiving With $75M Global Opening; ‘Napoleon’ Charges For $46M WW – Box Office Preview

Disney original animation is looking at a comeback this Thanksgiving. The princess pic Wish is looking at as much as $45M-$50M over five days after the studio suffering a setback over last year’s holiday with Strange World, which did $18.8M.

With the strikes over and Thanksgiving week a primetime for moviegoing with K-12 schools off all week and colleges off Thursday and Friday, there’s a lot of hope from Hollywood for a bountiful box office. All movies combined to gross $134M during the Wednesday-Sunday period in 2022. Remember, Black Friday is one of the richest days of the year at the domestic box office.

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The overseas release for Wish is a staggered approach a la Disney/Pixar’s Elemental, with only 43% of the foreign marketplace going this week including major markets UK, Spain, Mexico, China, as well as India, Benelux, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Philippines. All in, $25M is expected from abroad, where Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated, for a global opening weekend of $60M and a running worldwide total by EOD Sunday of $75M.


The movie, directed by Frozen franchise co-helmer Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, follows a young girl named Asha (voiced by West Side Story Oscar winner Ariana DeBose) who wishes on a star and gets a more direct answer than she bargained for when a trouble-making star comes down from the sky to join her. The movie is inspired by Disney’s centennial and centers on the studio’s theme of wishes coming true. Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice wrote the songs, with Disney orchestrator Dave Metzger penning the score.

Mexico will kick things off on Thursday in a rare turn. And since France isn’t going until next week, there is no offshore Wednesday market opening. The UK, Spain and the less-reliable Hollywood market China –the latter a projected $5M for the movie’s offshore launch — join Friday. We expect the top Wish openers in this early offshore frame to be a mix of UK, Mexico and China.

RELATED: ‘Wish’ Trailer: First Look At Disney’s Animated Musical Comedy Starring Ariana DeBose And Chris Pine

If all goes well, it could be the best Friday-Sunday domestic take for an original feature toon post-pandemic with $35M, topping the at $29.6M opening of Disney/Pixar’s Elemental. U.S./Canada presales for Wish are running 60% ahead of Elemental. Wish is booked at 3,700 theaters with stateside previews starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Disney will have some PLF screens on Wish.

The comp here at the domestic B.O. is this past weekend’s Trolls Band Together ($30.6M opening), from Universal/DreamWorks Animation, as well as Disney’s original animated musical movie Encanto, which braved Covid Thanksgiving 2021 with a $40.5M 5-day and $27.2M 3-day.

Excluding China, new IP Elemental (which opened into holidays) debuted to $21.6M in like-for-likes at current exchange rates. Similarly, 2016’s Moana did $22.4M and Encanto $14M in their comparable bows.

Next weekend adds France and Germany, followed by Japan on December 15, Italy on December 21, Australia on December 26 and Korea and Brazil in early January.

Reviews for Wish stand at 52% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow and Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow and Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Coming in second at the domestic B.O. over the five days is the second weekend of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes with around $30M. The opening weekend came in below the $50M opening projections at $44.6M. The global debut was $100.8M. The $30M 5-day domestic would be down 33% from the opening weekend of the Francis Lawrence-directed prequel, which is in vicinity of what the Thanksgiving stretch of 2015’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 did compared to its opening weekend (-26% with a$75.9M 5-day compared to a $102.6M 3-day). RT Audience score is at 91% for Songbirds & Snakes vs. a critics’ score of 63% fresh.

RELATED: ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes’ Review: A Tale Of Power And Uncertainty In Pre-Katniss Panem

As we told you on Friday, Apple Studios Production of Ridley Scott’s Napoleon via Sony is seeing a $46M global debut, broken out that’s $22M 5-day domestic, and $24M overseas. Historical war pics have proven to be money just before the onset of the pandemic, i.e. 1917, and afterwards, Oppenheimer. Ninety-six reviews for the Joaquin Phoenix starring Napoleon stand at 68% fresh. The movie is on a 45-day theatrical window. Napoleon and Songbirds & Snakes will share Imax.

RELATED: ‘Napoleon’ Trailer: First Look At Joaquin Phoenix In Ridley Scott’s Historical Epic 

Trolls Band Together is looking at a 5-day take of $20M. The Walt Dohrn-directed threequel received an A CinemaScore, which was the same grade as the first Trolls back in 2016.

Amazon/MGM’s Saltburn after an opening theater average of $46K and 3-day of $322K is expanding this week.

RELATED: ‘Saltburn’ In Year’s Top Limited Openings, ‘The Holdovers’ Aces Expansion, ‘Stop Making Sense’ Blows Past Original 1984 Run – Specialty Box Office

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