Let the feast begin: A pair of Thanksgiving releases and awards-season contenders, Disney’s Wish and Apple Original Films and Sony’s Napoleon, are set to open over the Wednesday-to-Sunday holiday stretch with respective grosses of $50M+ and $24M+. Both pics open on Thanksgiving eve, November 22.
Wish, if it hits its projection, would rep the biggest original animated opening since 2017’s Coco, which also was a Thanksgiving Disney release and did $72.9M over five days. Families and females are showing the best support at the moment. The song “This Is the Thanks I Get,” performed by Chris Pine, dropped last week and has been spurring interest for the movie stars Oscar winner Ariana DeBose.
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Other notable Disney original animated pics that launched over the turkey day holiday include 2016’s Moana ($82M), 2010’s Tangled ($68.7M) and Encanto during the 2021 pandemic ($40.5M).
Directed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, Wish follows a young girl named Asha 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.
Ridley Scott’s Napoleon is tracking with older and younger guys, of course, and its five-day opening is in the range of the helmer’s 2021 Thanksgiving launch, House of Gucci, which did $22M, and Prime Video’s Ben Affleck-directed Air, which minted $20.2M in a five-day Easter launch this year.
Napoleon reps Apple’s second mega-wide theatrical release on a long window after Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which Paramount distributed. That pic opened to a solid $23.2M in the middle of an actors strike where performers aren’t permitted to promote struck work. Napoleon, which begins media previews Wednesday, stars Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix in the title role and has a 2 hour, 38 minute running time — significantly shorter than Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon at 3½ hours. Deadline first told you about Apple financing the $130M epic back in January 2021.
“Napoleon is a man I’ve always been fascinated by,” Scott told Deadline. “He came out of nowhere to rule everything — but all the while he was waging a romantic war with his adulterous wife Josephine. He conquered the world to try to win her love, and when he couldn’t, he conquered it to destroy her, and destroyed himself in the process.”
Opening the weekend before Thanksgiving is Lionsgate’s prequel The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, which is forecasted at a $50M+ three-day.
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