‘Encanto’ rules box office as ‘Licorice Pizza,’ a love letter to L.A., smashes record

A split image of a cartoon girl with curly hair and glasses, left, and a woman smiling and running
Mirabel Madrigal (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz) in “Encanto,” left, and Alana Kane (Alana Haim) in “Licorice Pizza.”
(Disney, left / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc.)

Disney Animation’s “Encanto” bested its many competitors over the extended Thanksgiving weekend, conjuring $40.3 million at the domestic box office, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.

In second place was Sony Pictures’ “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” which scared up $35.3 million in its sophomore weekend for a North American cumulative of $87.8 million. Rounding out the top three was United Artists Releasing’s “House of Gucci,” which grossed $21.8 million over its five-day opening weekend and has been heavily hyped for Lady Gaga’s performance.

Directed by Jared Bush, Byron Howard and Charise Castro Smith, “Encanto” centers on a Colombian girl named Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), who is determined to find her purpose as the only member of her family without magical powers.


‘Encanto,’ Disney’s newest animated musical, spins a tale of a Colombian family with magical powers and features songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Nov. 23, 2021

The voice cast of the family flick also includes María Cecilia Botero, Wilmer Valderrama, Adassa, Diane Guerrero, Mauro Castillo, Angie Cepeda, Jessica Darrow, Rhenzy Feliz, Carolina Gaitán, Ravi Cabot-Conyers and John Leguizamo.

“Encanto,” which features songs by “Hamilton” mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda, scored a glowing 92% on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a superb A-rating from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

Reviews for Ridley Scott’s ‘House of Gucci’ have been mixed, but critics are hailing Lady Gaga’s ‘charisma,’ ‘verve’ and ‘fervor’ as Patrizia Reggiani.

Nov. 24, 2021

Directed by Ridley Scott, “House of Gucci” garnered mixed reviews amounting to 61% on Rotten Tomatoes. The highly anticipated period drama — starring Gaga, Adam Driver, Salma Hayek, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons and Al Pacino — also earned a B plus from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

Securing fourth and fifth place, respectively, at the domestic box office were Disney’s “Eternals,” which collected $11.4 million over its extended fourth weekend for a North American cumulative of $150.6 million, and Sony’s “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City,” which launched at $8.8 million over the five-day holiday.

Other notable debuts included United Artists Releasing’s “Licorice Pizza,” which raked in $335,000 across four locations in New York and Los Angeles. Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s romantic dramedy, starring Alana Haim (of the pop band Haim) and Cooper Hoffman, notched an impressive 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, while a grade from CinemaScore has yet to be posted.


Landing the perfect title is just one of the challenges Paul Thomas Anderson discusses on a drive around Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.

Nov. 26, 2021

“Licorice Pizza” made the most of its limited release, taking a giant slice out of the indie box office and obliterating the pandemic record for average opening-weekend gross per theater.

Set in the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s, the film boasted a stratospheric per-theater average of $83,825. The only other COVID-19 release that has come remotely close to that total is Searchlight Pictures’ “The French Dispatch,” which posted a PTA of $25,939 in October. “Licorice Pizza,” which is screening in L.A. at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, will open in wide release Dec. 25.

The sole film opening in wide release next weekend is Focus Features’ arthouse drama “Wolf,” starring Lily-Rose Depp and George MacKay.