December 6, 2023
Box Office: 'Wish' Aims to Recapture Disney Magic on Thanksgiving Holiday, Beats Ridley Scott's 'Napoleon'

Releasing an animated film around Thanksgiving has become a holiday tradition for Disney, and this year is no different. “Wish,” a musical origin story for the Wishing Star that many Disney characters have wished upon before, is expected to lead the box office charts over the busy weekend.

But it won’t be all Disney all the time, as was the case last year when two of the studio’s offerings, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Strange World,” took the top spot at the box office. Moviegoers will be able to enjoy a number of titles, including another newcomer, Ridley Scott’s historical epic “Napoleon” and leftover titles like “The Hunger Games” prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” and “Trolls Band Together.” Are. Some indies, like Emerald Fennell’s explosive thriller “Saltburn” and Alexander Payne’s feel-good drama “The Holdovers,” will expand nationwide.

“Wish,” featuring original music and the voices of Ariana DeBose and Chris Pine, debuts Wednesday. It is expected to gross $35 million in its traditional weekend and $45 million to $50 million in its first five days of release. Co-written and co-directed by the “Frozen” team of Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, “Wish” tells the story of a young girl named Hope who attempts to save the fictional kingdom of Rosas from darkness.

Disney’s previous Thanksgiving releases, like 2019’s “Frozen II” ($123.7 million), 2018’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” ($84.6 million) and 2017’s “Coco” ($71 million) debuted much bigger. Yet none of the studio’s recent Turkey Day offerings have lived up to pre-pandemic standards. The poorly reviewed “Strange World” flops in 2022 with $18 million in five days. Ticket sales never recovered, grossing a modest $37 million domestically and $73 million globally. And 2021’s “Encanto,” which opened to $40.3 in its first five days, didn’t become a viral TikTok sensation until the musical arrived on Disney+ more than a month later. It’s not just holiday titles that are on ice. “Wish” takes aim at a number of underperforming Disney 2023 tentpoles including “The Marvels,” “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” “The Haunted Mansion” remake, “The Little Mermaid” and “Ant-Man and Luck has to change. Wasp: Quantumania.

This year, “Wish” may face competition from “Trolls 3,” which attracts a similar demographic and opened in second place last weekend with $30 million domestically. Based on current projections, “Vish” will have no trouble ruling the competition. But the $200 million movie needs “Knowing What I Know Now” or “This Wish”, the film’s two catchy new tunes, to become inescapable sensations (in contrast to previous earworms like “Let It Go” or “We Don’t”). In the vein of ”Don’t Talk About Bruno”) to bring family audiences back to the multiplex en masse. Due to its substantial budget (not including the several million spent on global marketing efforts), Disney is hoping that “Wish” will resonate well beyond the US to justify its cost. It is aiming to gross $25 million at the international box office, a similar debut to “Elemental” and “Moana” in the same group of foreign markets.

“Napoleon,” starring Joaquin Phoenix as the infamous French ruler and Vanessa Kirby as his wife Joséphine de Beauharnais, is an equally expensive endeavor. The $200 million film is Apple’s second big-screen bet after Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro and grossed $23 million domestically and 21 million overseas in October. Had earned million dollars. After five weeks of release, the film, distributed by Paramount, underperformed with a disappointing gross of $63.5 million in North America and $145.7 million worldwide.

“Napoleon” is aiming for a traditional weekend gross of $16 million and $22 million between Wednesday and Sunday. It aims to gross $24 million at the international box office, bringing the global gross to $46 million. Given the trajectory of “Killers of the Flower Moon,” these numbers aren’t that promising for such an expensive, adult-skewing drama. But, like “Killers of the Flower Moon,” it may be complicated to assess the results of “Napoleon,” which Sony is releasing in theaters. Apple is covering production, marketing and distribution costs, and, as one of the companies with the world’s deepest pockets, its executives have said they use a different metric of success than traditional Hollywood players. Are. They are not as interested in making money as they are in generating buzz for their streaming service.

Will “Napoleon” prove to be more commercial than “Killers of the Flower Moon”? It skipped the film festival circuit thereby boosting attention for “Flower Moon”. Even with a lengthy runtime of two hours and 38 minutes, Scott’s epic is significantly shorter than Scorsese’s latest, which clocks in at a whopping three hours and 26 minutes. Both of those movies were just getting started when the easy-going hour-and-a-half “Wish” ended (not that there’s much audience overlap).

Reviews of “Napoleon” have been mixed. of variety Peter Debruge called the film “an undeniably impressive technical achievement”. But, he adds that “Napoleon ultimately suffers from the same problem as its subject: the film’s ambitions exceed what people demand, as Scott bites off more than he can manage.”


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