The five-day Thanksgiving weekend is coming up, and current projections put the Disney/Pixar movie Coco and the Warner Bros./DC Comics film Justice League in close competition for the top box office spot.
Disney’s family fare often wins out during this coveted holiday season, most recently with last year’s Moana. The last Pixar film to come out that weekend, 2015’s The Good Dinosaur, proved to be something of a dud, but Coco—about a young Mexican boy who accidentally travels to the afterlife on the Day of the Dead, learning about his family history in the process—is already being hailed by critics as the company’s best offering since Inside Out.
Justice League has a shakier foundation to stand on. It is the fifth film set in the DC Extended Universe, and its big “team-up” film, but like most of the entries in that franchise, it proves to be something of a mixed bag in terms of quality. The third most expensive film ever made, its $94 million domestic opening last weekend was significantly less than the $100-$120 million initially predicted. It was, however, easily that weekend’s top box office pick, with Wonder at a distant second with $27 million.
So how are things looking for the holiday, when newcomer Coco will challenge the reigning (but perhaps stumbling) champion? Current projections say that Coco will get $60-65 million over the five days, with about $40 million coming over the weekend itself. Meanwhile, Justice League is expected to have a 50-60% decline from its opening, putting it at about the same numbers.
It is worth noting that while such a decline is pretty typical for the second week of a tentpole film, previous DCEU offerings had much starker drops due to poor word of mouth. Fortunately for Warner Bros., Justice League seems to have won more of an audience than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or Suicide Squad, though, so hopefully its second-week numbers will be better than those films’.
Also premiering this weekend will be Roman J. Israel, Esq., a legal drama starring Denzel Washington, and Lady Bird, a coming of age romp about a teenage girl preparing for college. Neither will threaten the top two contenders, however.