Thanksgiving box office shows signs of life with 'Napoleon' leading Hunger Games prequel

In this year's Thanksgiving box office, there was a mix of success and disappointment for the theatrical industry. Lionsgate's "Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" had a strong second week, earning an estimated $42 million over the five-day holiday period. Apple's "Napoleon," distributed by Sony, also performed well, bringing in around $32.5 million. However, Disney's latest animated feature "Wish" fell short of expectations, only making $31.7 million in its first five days.

Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at, commented on the weekend's box office results, stating that "Napoleon" was a solid win for Sony, Apple, theaters, and moviegoers. He also mentioned that there was a need for another successful adult-driven film following the release of "Dune: Part Two" and the light holiday calendar ahead.

The top Thanksgiving box office titles were as follows: "Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" ($42 million), "Napoleon" ($32.5 million), "Wish" ($31.7 million), "Trolls Band Together" ($25.3 million), "Thanksgiving" ($11.13 million), "The Marvels" ($9.2 million), "The Holdovers" ($3.75 million), "Saltburn" ($2.72 million), "Next Goal Wins" ($2.57 million), "Five Nights at Freddy's" ($2.5 million), and Taylor Swift's Eras Tour concert film ($2.33 million).

The underperformance of "Wish" highlights ongoing issues at Disney's animation studios, which have struggled to attract audiences back to theaters since the pandemic. In comparison, Universal's "Trolls Band Together" managed to earn $25.3 million in its second week.

Overall, the Thanksgiving box office generated around $172 million, an improvement compared to the previous three years of pandemic-impacted ticket sales. However, it still falls short of pre-pandemic levels when ticket sales during the five-day Thanksgiving period exceeded $250 million.

While the Thanksgiving box office performance is encouraging for the industry, it has not yet reached the heights of pre-2020 levels. Nevertheless, there was a diverse range of films across genres and age demographics, which has been lacking in recent years. This positive step forward demonstrates the industry's ability to adapt to a rapidly evolving marketplace.


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