Well, it was a somewhat successful Thanksgiving weekend at the box office. We told you last week that if Disney’s ‘Encanto‘ film could break the $50 million mark, it’d be a huge win.
Well, it didn’t quite get to $50 million. It made $40.3 million this past weekend, which is what the experts were predicting. It’s certainly not a bad number, and it easily won the box office, but it’s not an outstanding number either.
In total, the domestic box office haul (for all films) during Thanksgiving weekend 2021 was $142 million, which is obviously better than 2020, but it fails to come close to the $263 million total in 2019 and $315 million in 2018.
So the numbers are still behind, but it’s still a good sign, considering the two big movies that opened this weekend were not superhero films or part of a larger franchise. In 2019, Frozen 2 helped boost numbers, and in 2018, Ralph Breaks The Internet and Fantastic Beasts helped ticket sales.
This year, Disney put out an original film. The other big movie was House of Gucci, which made a respectable $20 million this past weekend.
So there is some reason to celebrate. And actually, there’s a lot of reasons to celebrate if you’re Paul Thomas Anderson. His coming-of-age flick, Licorice Pizza, was released in just four theaters this past weekend. Three in New York and one in Los Angeles.
But those four theaters made bank. The film made $335,000 in total and $83,852 per location, which was more than enough to shatter the best-pandemic era debut record at the independent box office.
In its first three days of release, ‘Licorice Pizza’ surpassed A24’s black-and-white drama ‘C’mon C’mon,’ which previously held the record for best platform launch after generating $135,447 on five screens — averaging to $26,889 per location. Prior to that, indie darling Wes Anderson set the pandemic-era arthouse benchmark with ‘The French Dispatch,’ which grossed $1.3 million from 52 theaters — averaging $25,000 per location.
Licorice Pizza will open nationwide on Christmas, and you should watch it. It’s very good.