‘Encanto’ Retains Top Spot at Quiet Post-Thanksgiving Box Office

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  • Maurizio Gucci
    Italian businessman (1948-1995)

As is fitting for the days after Thanksgiving, moviegoers are largely turning out for leftovers this weekend. “Encanto,” “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” and “House of Gucci” will retain the top three spots at the domestic box office, replicating the final standings of last weekend’s rankings.

Disney’s “Encanto” is projected to gross $12.3 million from 3,980 locations in its second outing, expanding its domestic cume to about $57.5 million. That would mark a 55% drop-off from the film’s debut numbers, roughly in line with other Disney Thanksgiving releases like 2018’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” (a 54.5% drop) and 2019’s “Frozen II” (a 59.1% drop).

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While those two releases had much higher opening weekends than “Encanto,” they had the marked benefit of being sequels to popular hits. They also didn’t have to deal with the threat of COVID-19, as many audiences, particularly families, have been slow to return to theaters during this box office regrowth period. The standard drop-off percentage of “Encanto” shows that the film is enjoying the solid word-of-mouth that marks most Disney animated films.

With original music from “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Encanto” focuses on a family living in the mountains of Colombia. Each member possesses special powers, except for Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz). But when Mirabel discovers that her town may be in danger of losing all magic, it’s up to her to save her loved ones.

Headed for the runner-up slot is the third weekend of Sony’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.” The sci-fi comedy sequel is projected to take in $9.5 million from across 4,059 locations. Sony opened “Afterlife” a week ahead of Thanksgiving weekend and rode the wave of good word-of-mouth over the five-day holiday window. The film should pass the $100 million mark at the domestic box office by Sunday, a feat only accomplished by eleven other releases this year.

MGM and United Artists Releasing’s “House of Gucci” earned $2.187 million on Friday, moving towards a third-place finish with a projected $7.26 million haul from 3,477 locations. The Lady Gaga vehicle has been one of the few adult dramas to connect at the domestic box office during the pandemic, earning more than the total grosses of recent releases like “The Many Saints of Newark” and “The Last Duel” in its first weekend alone.

Starring Gaga and Adam Driver as Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci, “House of Gucci” chronicles the years leading up to Reggiani’s assassination plot against the Gucci heir. Though the film has received mixed reviews, Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman called it “an icepick docudrama that has a great deal of fun with its grand roster of ambitious scoundrels” and “never less than a straight-faced and nimbly accomplished movie.”

Disney’s “Eternals” will take fourth with a projected $3.85 million gross for the weekend. The superhero blockbuster hasn’t been performing as strongly as other Marvel entries, though the $150 million and change that it’s grossed at the domestic box office over the past month still marks an enviable standing for a pandemic era release.

Rounding out the top five is Fathom Events’ “Christmas With the Chosen: The Messengers.” The film is a holiday special of the religious streaming series “The Chosen” and follows the life of Jesus Christ. The release sold $1.5 million in pre-sales during its first 12 hours of availability, prompting an expansion to a 10-night run across 1,700 theaters, the largest in Fathom Events’ history.

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