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Thanksgiving brings something for everyone

With the Thanksgiving Holiday upon us, theaters will be packed with families looking to fill the weekend with anything that can kill a few hours so they don’t have to hear Uncle Joe talk about how the weather affects his bad hip!

The weekend looks to be Black Panther’s to lose. Losing 63% of its audience last weekend, this weekend will be the true test if the blockbuster sequel has the staying power needed to push its numbers towards profitability (with no China release, that billion dollar mark is probably a pipe dream). Of the options presented to theater goers, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has the best “mass family appeal” and should see a 3-day take over $40 million and a 5 day take around $60 million.

If any movie can come along and upset Black Panther it is Disney’s own Strange World. The trailers for this one looked decent, if (for me at least) a little underwhelming. Reviews have been mixed with some saying the movie looks great but lacks a truly original story, while others (including our own JimmyO) really enjoyed the animated adventure. I can’t see this one hitting the high’s of a Pixar release, but again, the family crowd should drive this one to around a $20 million 3-day opening with maybe $25 million for the 5-day. Or it could be a complete bust! This one has John Carter vibes to me in terms of scope and anticipation, so this is one of those releases that I can see being a total bomb, and I can see it becoming a massive hit! I’m a hell of a box office predictor aren’t I?!

Glass Onion, Knives Out, sequels

The rest of the new releases are looking to court the more adult crowd with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery looking to capitalize on its unprecedented release being the first Netflix film to debut in all three major US theater chains (AMC, Regal & Cinemark with AMC and Regal being firmly against putting any day and date releases in their theaters, but the chains and Netflix were able to strike an agreement where the highly anticipated sequel to the Oscar Nominated Knives Out would play in 700 theaters for a one week limited run over Thanksgiving weekend.) So with that unprecedented move, the box office for this one becomes a bit tricky. Will general audiences turn up their nose at paying to see a film in theaters that they can just wait a month to see on Netflix? The good news is reviews for Glass Onion are incredibly strong (including the 8/10 review from our own Chris Bumbray) with many people saying this could be in the final ten movies nominated for Best Picture this year. Personally, I think it was a stroke of genius for Netflix to use this movie as their beta test for releasing films theatrically as the mystery aspect of the film with potential spoilers leaking out ahead of its Netflix release could drive audiences to theaters (I include myself in that, as I have my seat reserved for a showing tonight at 9:50 at my local AMC!) So with all of that said, I think Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery can grab nearly $10 million for the 3-day frame and $12 million for the 5-day.

The next film aiming for more adult audiences this weekend is the Korean War true story Devotion. The trailers for this one look really good, showing a film that should play well on the biggest screen possible. Add to that you have two leads that are on the cusp of being Hollywood A-listers in Glenn Powell (who is no stranger to aviation based films having turned in amazing supporting performances in tremendous films such as Top Gun: Maverick and Hidden Figures) while Jonathan Majors appeared in Loki and is set to be the next big bad in the MCU starting with next years Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (and if you haven’t seen his performance in the severely underrated film The Last Black Man in San Francisco, do yourself a favor and check it out. It really is no surprise Majors has found major (I’m hilarious) success after his amazing performance in that film.) With reviews (including one from our own Chris Bumbray) calling this a straight forward biopic boosted by amazing performances, this one could be one of those movies that starts a bit soft but has great legs. I think it will open to an $8 million 3-day and $10 million 5-day.

The final two big releases this weekend are the expansions of the Steven Spielberg semi-autobiography The Fabelmans and the Luca Guadagnino cannibalistic love story Bones and All. The former is a sweet film that chronicles the rise of one of the greatest directors of all time told against the backdrop of his family, the latter is a sweet love story about people that eat other people! Fabelman’s opened a few weeks back where it had a strong $40,395 per theater average on just 4 screens, however with the marketplace flooded, this one may get lost in the shuffle and may struggle to hit $5 million for the 3-day weekend and $6 million over the 5-days. While Bones and All really is playing to the film geek crowd (aka people who actually know who Luca Guadagnino is) and will struggle to hit $4 million over the 3-day weekend and $5 million over the 5-days. Both films have already notched up some award nominations with Fabelmans winning the People’s Choice Award at this years Toronto International Film Festival (other recent winners include Belfast, Nomadland, Jojo Rabbit and Green Book) while Bones and All was just nominated for 3 Independent Spirit Awards including Best Feature, Best Lead and Best Supporting performances. You can check out our reviews for Fabelmans here and Bones and All here.

The remainder of the top 5 should be your holdovers including the quite excellent The Menu (if you’re looking for some food related entertainment this weekend, I highly recommend seeing this one) as well as Black Adam, Ticket to Paradise and The Chosen: Season 3: Episodes 1&2.

Do your Thanksgiving plans include going to the movies? Let us know in the comments section and don’t forget to check back on Saturday when we give a brief update on the weekend’s numbers. From the Joblo family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving (to those who celebrate!)

TOP FIVE PREDICTIONS

  1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever $40 Million ($60 Million 5-Day)
  2. Disney’s Strange World$20 Million ($25 Million 5-day)
  3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery$10 Million ($12 Million 5-Day)
  4. Devotion$8 Million ($10 Million 5-Day)
  5. The Menu$5 Million ($6 Million 5-Day)

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