Encanto And House Of Gucci Did Decent Thanksgiving Box Office, Resident Evil Didn't

Thanksgiving is typically a robust five-day weekend at the box office that Hollywood has come to rely on. 2020 had other plans obviously, but this year saw a host of new releases for just about every type of moviegoer to enjoy. From Disney's "Encanto," to Ridley Scott's "House of Gucci," and even "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City," there was much to choose from. Not to mention "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" and "King Richard" entering their second weekends. In the end, it came out to an overall passable box office that was certainly an improvement from last year's (to say the very least of it), with two of this week's new releases doing fair to middling, while one was dead on arrival. Let's dig into the numbers, shall we?

Encanto and House of Gucci Do Decent Business

According to Box Office Mojo, Disney's "Encanto" led the weekend with $27 million over the standard three-day weekend, and $40.3 million over the full five-day Thanksgiving holiday. Sure, that's a far cry from "Frozen II" pulling in $130 million back in 2019. However, this was an original property not from an established franchise contending with a pandemic. I'd argue that number is fine, though not fantastic. If it can hold well week-to-week, it should do okay for the Mouse House. Word of mouth is good, which should be helpful.

Meanwhile, "House of Gucci" spared the great Ridley Scott from suffering two flops in the same year, as it earned $14.2 million over the three-day and $21.2 million over the full five. Taking its reported $75 million budget into account, it's still got a long way to go, though it's expected to be in the awards season conversation and that should help its legs. It certainly won't suffer the brutality that Scott's "The Last Duel" did just last month, which is good news for the 83-year-old filmmaker who has a whole lot planned, and none of those plans involve retirement.

The Resident Evil Reboot Tanked

A mere four years after "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" wrapped up Milla Jovovich's run in the franchise, Sony Pictures and Constantin Film teamed up for a reboot of the series based on the popular Capcom horror games. With a horror-tinged approach and a '90s setting, "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City" hoped to usher in a new era for the movies. That didn't exactly pan out.

Directed by Johannes Roberts, the film earned just $5.3 million over the three-day weekend and $8.8 million over the five-day holiday. In a word? Ouch. Critics weren't quite buying what the reboot was selling, even if the movie was much closer to what fans were familiar with in the early games. The only saving grace here is the relatively low $25 million budget, which could save it from being a full-blown disaster. It just likely won't generate a new theatrically viable version of the franchise. Perhaps Netflix's live-action show is the way to go in the streaming age.

Licorice Pizza Is a Bright Light of Hope for Smaller Movies

It's been extremely tough for smaller movies to make a go of it at the box office this year. Audiences are extremely selective as we attempt to emerge from the pandemic, with the likes of "Last Night In Soho," "Lamb," "Pig," "Zola" and many others struggling mightily to put butts in seats. However, Paul Thomas Anderson's latest "Licorice Pizza" opened to $336,000 in just four theaters over the three-day weekend for a stellar $84,000 per-theater average. That could build solid word of mouth as the movie expands in the coming weeks, especially if it can make its way into the awards season conversation. It's early, but it appears a platform release for a smaller movie can still work under the right circumstances.

And the Rest...

We should point out that, overall, the Thanksgiving holiday frame took in $142 million in ticket sales. No, that is nowhere near the $250 million or so the industry was used to seeing in 2019 and other recent years pre-pandemic. However, it is a sign that there are a lot of people out there, even despite current circumstances, that want to go to the movies. We can only hope that 2022 sees that number grow.

In holdover news, "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" held quite well in its second weekend, dropping 44.3%, taking in $24.5 million. It now stands at $87.7 million domestically and should cross the $100 million mark come next Monday. For comparison's sake, 2016's "Ghostbusters" 54.3% in its second weekend, earning $21 million. So the fact that it made $2 million more than "Afterlife" in its opening weekend is inconsequential and word of mouth seems to be benefitting this one more. If it can find a reasonable audience overseas, Sony should do quite well with this one.

"Eternals" came in at number four, taking in $7.9 million as it has now passed $150 million domestically. It stands at $368 million worldwide. Whether or not it can get past the $400 million mark remains to be seen, though it may be close. "Clifford the Big Red Dog" fell to number six, taking in $4.8 million, with a $42.8 million domestic total now. A sequel is already in the works so Paramount is clearly happy.

Lastly, in milestone news, "Dune" finally crossed the $100 million mark domestically, as it now has earned $102.2 million since it originally hit theaters on October 22. Worldwide, its total stands at $374 million as it is also trying to get past the $400 million mark. Either way, Warner Bros. Legendary are planning to shoot the sequel next year, so everything from here on out is icing on the cake to some degree.

Next weekend sees no new, big releases so it will be a battle of the holdovers, with some smaller releases such as "Power of the Dog" and "Benedetta" looking to capture what attention they can.