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    Hunger Games Prequel, Napoleon Slay Wish at Thanksgiving Box Office – The Music news

    There’s high drama at the Thanksgiving box office.

    Heading into the long holiday corridor, Disney Animation’s music-infused original event pic Wish was expected to win the crowded holiday race. Instead, it came in third behind The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and Napoleon in another blow for Disney.

    Overall, the 2023 Thanksgiving box office was up a hefty 40 percent or more from last year but still trailed pre-pandemic times (revenue was down 34 percent from 2019).

    The Hunger Games prequel easily topped the domestic chart with an estimated $42 million for the Wednesday to Sunday corridor, including $28.8 million for the weekend. The movie, which opened the weekend before Thanksgiving, finished Sunday with a domestic total of nearly $100 million and $200 million globally. The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is also dominating the foreign box office, where it has earned $98.9 million for an estimated global total of $197.3 million through Sunday.

    In a surprise twist, Ridley Scott’s new historical epic Napoleon edged out Wish to come in No. 2. The historical epic, starring Joaquin Phoenix, opened to an estimated $32.5 million for the five days, including $20.4 million for the weekend. Napoleon — a win for Apple’s theatrical ambitions — came in well ahead of expectations for an adult drama. Its performance is also impressive considering it received so-so reviews and a B- CinemaScore from moviegoers.

    Scott’s epic also did well on the battlefield overseas, where it opened to $46.3 million for a global launch of $78.8 million.

    Napoleon is the second big theatrical swing from Apple Original Films after Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which is currently in theaters via Paramount. Apple Original Films fully financed the two tentpoles, which both have Oscar ambitions. Sony is Apple’s global distribution and marketing partner on Napoleon.

    Heading into the Thanksgiving frame, Napoleon was looking at a five-day holiday cume of $22 million to $25 million.

    Wish, an original story with no affiliated IP, earned an estimated $19.7 million for the three days and $31.7 million for the five days to place No. 3. Heading into the holiday, the movie had been tracking to open to $45 million to $50 million. Overseas, the animated pic started off with $17.5 million (its initial footprint only includes four major markets).

    Disney has suffered a rocky year at the box office, capped by recent bust The Marvels. Wish, which earned $8.3 million on Wednesday, could still overcome a soft opening if it enjoys a long run as Encanto and Elemental did. Going in Wish‘s favor as the Christmas season approaches is an A- CinemaScore and strong PostTrak exits.

    Universal and Illumination’s Trolls Band Together, which opened the weekend before Thanksgiving opposite Napoleon, came in No. 4 with a five-day gross of $25.3 million for a domestic tally of $64.5 million. (The performance of both Trolls and Wish fuels concern that the family box office still hasn’t recovered from the pandemic.)

    TriStar and Spyglass Media’s slasher pic Thanksgiving rounded out the top five in its second weekend with an estimated five-day cume of $11.2 million for a 10-day domestic tally north of $24 million.

    Speaking of horror, Five Nights at Freddy’s achieved a major milestone over the holiday in becoming the top-grossing Blumhouse pic of all time at the global box office after passing up Split ($278.7 million). Five Nights, from Blumhouse and Universal, finished Sunday with an estimated worldwide haul of $283.1 million.

    At the awards box office, Focus Features’ The Holdovers looks to come in No. 7 with five-day holiday earnings in the $4 million range.

    MGM/Amazon’s Saltburn followed with a domestic opening of $3.1 million. The movie has also earned $3.1 million at the international box office for an early global tally of $6.2 million (Warner Bros. International is handling the pic overseas).

    More to come.

    This story was originally published Nov. 25 at 8:32 am.

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