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Box office: ‘Good Dinosaur’ takes early lead over ‘Creed,’ ‘Mockingjay’

‘The Good Dinosaur, ‘Creed,’ ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2'

Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” will square off with Warner Bros.’ “Creed” and Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2" at the Thanksgiving weekend box office. 

(Disney; Warner Bros.; Lionsgate)

Box-office newcomers are gearing up for a fight at the multiplex this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Up against Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2” are “Creed,” “The Good Dinosaur” and “Victor Frankenstein.” If analysts’ estimates are any indication, the Jennifer Lawrence-led “Mockingjay” might fall from its throne.

“The Good Dinosaur," Walt Disney Co.’s new Pixar offering, has the best chance to win the five-day weekend. The film has already pulled in $9.8 million in the U.S. and Canada from the first day of the holiday break, well on its way to a projected $60 million to $70 million in ticket sales.

Audiences favor the animated picture, giving it an A score, according to polling firm CinemaScore. The film also received a favorable 81% positive rating from critics on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

“Dinosaur’s” addition to the movie landscape will likely also push out the other animated film in theaters, Fox’s “The Peanuts Movie.” Charlie Brown and Snoopy have floated in the top three since the film’s Nov. 6 debut, for a domestic gross to date of over $103 million.

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Pixar is hoping for its second hit of the year with “Dinosaur,” coming after June’s “Inside Out.” That film debuted to more than $90 million and has racked up a staggering $851 million worldwide. “The Good Dinosaur,” like other Pixar features, is said to have cost $175 million to $200 million.

“Mockingjay” will likely place second. It’s already made over $267 million worldwide since Nov. 20.

Analysts project the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and New Line Cinema-financed project, “Creed,” will take in about $35 million over the five-day holiday frame. The $37-million spin-off from the popular “Rocky” movie series pulled in $6 million Wednesday.

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Distributed by Warner Bros., the film starring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone and Tessa Thompson broke an industry record for Tuesday pre-shows for Thanksgiving weekend, with $1.4 million.

Critics and audiences alike have raved about Jordan’s performance as Adonis Creed, son of Rocky Balboa opponent-turned-friend Apollo Creed, who was played by Carl Weathers. Stallone returns in the role of Balboa while Thompson plays young Creed’s girlfriend, Bianca.

Audiences gave the first film in the MGM boxing franchise since 2006 an A CinemaScore, while Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a 92% positive rating.

Rounding out the larger new releases is 20th Century Fox’s “Victor Frankenstein,” the latest take on the story of a scientist playing God. With low projections between $10 million and $12 million, the movie starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy likely won’t be much competition. On Wednesday, it pulled in an estimated $620,000.

On the limited-release front, eyes will remain on the performance of Open Road’s “Spotlight.” The Tom McCarthy-directed drama about the Boston Globe’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of sexual abuse by priests was the only holdover from last week’s top 10 to post a week-to-week increase -- 166%.

Also of note is Fox Searchlight’s “Brooklyn,” which posted $652,000 on Wednesday, ahead of “Frankenstein.” The film has grossed almost $3 million from its limited distribution.

Potential Oscar nominee “The Danish Girl,” Focus Features’ biographical film about the gender transition of artist Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne), is set to open on four screens Friday.

Follow me on Twitter: @TrevellAnderson

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