After enjoying a feast of sequels during the Thanksgiving holiday, Hollywood studios are serving leftovers at the box office this weekend.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Creed II,” which dominated the multiplex last week, will probably retain the No. 1 and No. 2 chart positions, respectively, as distributors take a short break from releasing big films. The only new wide release is Sony Pictures’ low-budget horror movie “The Possession of Hannah Grace,” which is poised for a modest opening.
The weekend after Thanksgiving tends to bring the box office equivalent of a food coma to American movie theaters, as film companies digest the big holiday grosses. Movies drove $314 million in ticket sales Wednesday through Sunday in the U.S. and Canada, according to data firm Comscore, making it the biggest Thanksgiving weekend ever, not adjusted for inflation.
Here’s what to watch.
‘Ralph’ breaks the box office
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ well-reviewed follow-up to 2012’s “Wreck-It Ralph” is expected to download about $33 million in additional ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada, after scoring a strong $84.7 million in its first five days in theaters. The $175-million computer-animated comedy, featuring the voices of John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, had the second-largest five-day Thanksgiving weekend debut ever, behind Disney’s 2013 smash “Frozen.”
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios’ “Creed II,” the eighth movie in the “Rocky” series, will probably collect $17 million after its $56-million domestic launch. Michael B. Jordan returns as Adonis Creed alongside Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa in the film directed by Steven Caple Jr. The movie was a needed success for MGM, which returned to the business of distributing its own films in theaters this year through a joint venture with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.
The lone major newcomer, “The Possession of Hannah Grace,” is expected to open with $3 million to $7 million Friday through Sunday, according to people who have read pre-release audience surveys. Sony’s genre label Screen Gems is releasing the movie, which was produced by Broken Road Productions and stars “Pretty Little Liars” actress Shay Mitchell as a morgue worker who encounters a possessed corpse.
Netflix is unveiling Andy Serkis’ “Mowgli,” a retelling of the classic Rudyard Kipling tale, in a small number of theaters a week before the movie becomes available on the Los Gatos, Calif., company’s streaming service. The film was produced by Warner Bros., but the Burbank studio decided to sell the distribution rights to the streaming company this year. “Mowgli” was in the unfortunate position of following Disney’s “The Jungle Book,” a Jon Favreau-directed global hit that grossed $966 million in 2016. The new film makes ample use of Serkis’ motion-capture filmmaking techniques. Netflix does not report box office grosses for its films.
“Mowgli’s” premiere comes after Netflix put Alfonso Cuaron’s acclaimed movie “Roma” in three U.S. theaters last week, three weeks before its online release.