Thanksgiving Box Office Update: ‘Hunger Games’ Prequel and ‘Napoleon’ Reign, ‘Wish’ Fails to Strike the Right Chord

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In an unexpected turn of events at the Thanksgiving box office, Disney Animation’s highly anticipated film, “Wish,” faces competition from unexpected contenders, potentially landing behind Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” and Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon,” a historical epic produced by Apple Original Films and Sony.

“The Hunger Games” prequel is poised to dominate the holiday chart in North America, estimated to rake in over $40 million from Wednesday to Sunday, following an impressive $11.4 million Friday haul. Having debuted the weekend before Thanksgiving, the film is set to cross the $100 million mark in domestic earnings after its 10-day run.

Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, unexpectedly emerged in a close race with “Wish” for the second position. Grossing $8.4 million on Friday, it’s projected to earn between $32 million to $33 million over the five-day period. Despite an average B- CinemaScore, the film has exceeded expectations, particularly among the 35-and-older demographic, marking a significant achievement for Apple’s aspirations in the theatrical realm. Apple Original Films, in partnership with Sony, financed and distributed both “Napoleon” and Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” aiming for accolades in the Oscar race.

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Initially expected to lead the Thanksgiving box office with a five-day haul of $45 million to $50 million, “Wish” is now looking at a lower range of $32 million to $33 million, despite a solid A- CinemaScore and positive audience exits on PostTrak. Disney, facing a challenging year at the box office, hopes that “Wish” will gather momentum throughout December and the year-end holidays.

“Trolls Band Together” from Universal and Illumination is eyeing a fourth-place finish, estimating a five-day gross of $25.5 million.

Meanwhile, “Thanksgiving,” the slasher film from TriStar and Spyglass Media, is expected to secure the fifth spot in its second weekend, with a projected five-day cumulative total of $11.4 million.

In the awards box office arena, Focus Features’ “The Holdovers” is anticipated to land at No. 7, generating around $4 million during the five-day holiday window.

Additionally, Searchlight’s “Next Goal Wins” and MGM/Amazon’s “Saltburn” are each looking at five-day grosses in the $2.7 million range.