Disney's Encanto Rises To The Top Of The Box Office In Its Thanksgiving Weekend Debut

Mirabel and kids in Encanto
(Image credit: Disney)

Another Thanksgiving weekend has arrived and, though the circumstances are quite typical, many still ventured out to the movies over the past few days. At this point, it’s pretty much a tradition for folks to head out to the cinema during the holiday weekend and, in many cases, they’ll find a Disney movie playing on the big screen. Yes, the studio has been known to drop an animated feature around this time of the year and, for 2021, it delivered Encanto. The well-received film has quite a bit of magic to it, and it would seem that it was indeed able to conjure up a bit of that in order to rise to the top of the box office in its debut weekend after a strong start.

Encanto box office banner

(Image credit: Disney)
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1. Encanto*$27,000,000$40,300,000Row 0 - Cell 3 3,980
2. Ghostbusters: Afterlife$24,500,000$87,758,12914,315
3. House of Gucci*$14,231,000 $21,832,596Row 2 - Cell 3 3,477
4. Eternals$7,900,000 $150,643,80923,165
5. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City*$5,275,000$8,800,000Row 4 - Cell 3 2,803
6. Clifford the Big Red Dog$4,875,000$42,883,301 33,331
7. King Richard$3,300,000 $11,450,00043,302
8. Dune$2,165,000$102,242,000 51,266
9. No Time to Die$1,753,000$158,128,11771,342
10. Venom: Let There Be Carnage$1,565,000 $209,515,98661,537

All in all, this is a relatively subdued Thanksgiving weekend for movies, especially when you consider what was to come. As Deadline points out, had things gone according to plan, moviegoers would’ve taken to the sky with Tom Cruise for Top Gun: Maverick, which was delayed by Paramount. Film fans are surely sad to see it fly off to 2022 yet, because it cleared the runway, it arguably put Disney in a prime position to succeed with its latest animated venture. 

Encanto’s three-day cume of $27 million is relatively solid, especially considering the times in which we’re living in. And of course, with this being Thanksgiving weekend, totals have been tallied over the past five days. Between Wednesday and Sunday, the animated feature has tallied a total of $40.3 million, while it opened to $29.3 million from more than 47 international markets. With this, its worldwide total at launch currently sits at 69.6 million. If anything, these numbers would seem to indicate that families certainly went out to theaters. Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s solid second weekend is also proof of that very notion.

The Madrigal family in Encanto

(Image credit: Disney)

Though the Disney flick numbers pretty much line up with the studio’s expectations, they still come in low compared to its Thanksgiving predecessors. Variety points out that in 2019, Frozen II managed to earn a whopping $123.7 million during its first five days, while 2018’s Ralph Breaks the Internet raked in $84.6 million. And back in 2017, Coco earned $71 million around this time. In fairness, Encanto did have to contend with the pandemic, and the first two films mentioned were already part of pre-existing, hit franchises.

What may have been a boon for the new film, though, is the fact that it’s heavily influenced by a culture that has yet to take center stage in an animated Disney production. Encanto focuses on teenager Mirabel, a member of the magical Madrigal family, who lacks a special ability like her relatives. But when the family’s magic is threatened, she must embark on a quest to find the source of the disruption. Directed by House of Mouse vets Byron Howard and Jared Bush, the film is firmly rooted in Colombian culture, something that’s been praised by movie fans on the interwebs. Pair that unique perspective with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s electric soundtrack, and the result is a delightful film. Though it’s still early, the positive reviews and solid box office opening could bode well for a potential sequel.

Lady Gaga and co. make a solid mark in House of Gucci’s opening weekend.

House of Gucci is another major title that’s been highly anticipated, mainly by adult audiences, of course. The Ridley Scott-directed movie’s $14.2 million haul over three days and the $21.8 million over the five actually marks the best opening for a drama in the past two years. The last drama to make some real noise around this time is Sony’s Little Women, which earned $16.7 million over three days and $29.2 million over five days. Still, the Lady Gaga-led movie is still going to need some overseas ticket sales in order to turn a profit from that pricey $75 million budget.

The performance does still bode well for the crime drama, though, which is prime bait for awards season. Lady Gaga, who could be a major reason for people willing to attend theaters to see it, has received acclaim for her performance. Though the film as a whole has received mixed reviews from critics for the most part. Audiences, on the other hand, seem more receptive, as the movie holds a Cinemascore of B+. Regardless of the box office performance, one would imagine that it will be a top contender for gold come early next year. Father, son and House of Gucci, indeed.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City gets off to a lackluster start for Sony.

The Resident Evil franchise has been dormant for a few years now, and Sony has now chosen to resurrect it with a reboot. Unfortunately, the new installment isn’t panning out the way the studio may have hoped. Johannes Roberts’ movie, which has a reported budget of $25 million, only opened to $8.8 million. The film also took in $5.1 million internationally, leading a worldwide total of $13.9 million. Based on this, one would assume that it’s going to be tough for the movie to find some success aas time goes on.

So far, the action-horror flick has received mostly mixed to negative reviews from critics and fans. Many, like CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg, find the film to be a bit too basic. Though it does have a capable cast that features the likes of Robbie Ammell, Hannah John-Kamen and Neal McDonough, it’s honestly hard to top someone like Milla Jovovich. In all seriousness, it's very possibly that nostalgia from veteran fans could've played a role here. There's also the fact that the movie is without veteran franchise filmmaker Paul W. S. Anderson. However, the fan-favorite director did come back on board for this installment as an executive producer.

At this point, I’d say the future of the franchise is largely up in the air, especially if there’s no type of improvement. But though it’ll likely be a while before we get word on the next Resident Evil movie, you’ll only have to wait until next week for more box office news from CinemaBlend!

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.