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Can Disney still turn out hits at the box office?

Not really, although everybody else is looking pretty beat as well.

Of course, Maverick can still kick ass. He's not lost a step.

Wishful thinking

Despite going into the holiday period as many people’s favorite for the top spot this Thanksgiving, Disney’s Wish was beaten out by the fifth installment of the Hunger Games franchise, which was in its 2nd week, as well as Ridley Scott’s newly-released Napoleon — another disappointing upset for the House of Mouse.

Wish mustered just $31.7 million over the 5-day Thanksgiving period (Wed-Sun), way down from its $45-50 million pre-release projections. That performance compounds a rough patch for Disney, which has been used to dominating the holiday box office in the past, producing 7 of the 10 highest-grossing Thanksgiving debuts of all time, according to data from The Numbers.

Fall flicks fall

Trips to the theater have become as much of a Thanksgiving tradition in some US households as carving up turkey or arguing with the in-laws. However, box office takings have sagged since Covid, with this year’s total estimated figure at $172 million, down 35% since 2019 — consistent with the wider malaise on the big screen, which is still yet to reach its pre-pandemic heights.

Although Disney's 2018 effort Ralph Breaks The Internet may hold the record for the top-grossing Thanksgiving weekend release of all time, the biggest-earning Thanksgiving-themed flick is actually Adam Sandler’s Jack & Jill, which, despite winning just a 3% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, takes that particular accolade.

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