Ah, Thanksgiving traditions -- turkey, football and a big Disney box-office debut.
Walt Disney Co. had the holiday weekend's biggest new film for the third year in a row, this time with the critically acclaimed Coco.
The Pixar animated movie, which centers on Mexico's Day of the Dead holiday, placed first in U.S. and Canadian theaters, garnering about $51 million from Friday to Sunday, ComScore Inc. said. Including Wednesday and Thursday, the movie took in about $73 million.
"Great stories can come from all over the world and be relatable," said Dave Hollis, global head of distribution for Disney.
Worldwide, the movie has gained $153.4 million in ticket sales, Disney said.
In China, Coco generated $18.2 million, the second-highest opening ever for a Pixar or Disney animated release. "That shows the film's universal appeal," Hollis said. "Pixar has delivered yet again."
The well-reviewed film adds to a long run of family-friendly Disney fare to entice audiences out of their turkey comas, from 1999's Toy Story 2 to 2013's Frozen. Last year, Moana topped the charts. The Good Dinosaur was the weekend's biggest debut in 2015, though it placed second to the already-released The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2.
This year, the competition wasn't as tough for Disney. Warner Bros.' critically panned superhero offering Justice League placed second with $41 million over three days, falling 57 percent from its debut last week. It was forecast to earn $42.2 million, according to Box Office Mojo. Lionsgate's drama Wonder returned in third place with $22.3 million, beating a three-day forecast of $21.5 million.
The win by Coco offered Disney some solace after a troubling week. John Lasseter, an executive producer on the film and the chief creative officer for Disney Animation and Pixar, said on Nov. 21 he would take a leave of absence after the Hollywood Reporter and other outlets cited co-workers who accused him of unwanted touching and hugs.
Disney's biggest Thanksgiving debut ever was Frozen, which earned $67.4 million from Friday to Sunday and $93.6 million for the full five days in 2013, according to ComScore. That year was the biggest Thanksgiving weekend ever for Hollywood, with Hunger Games: Catching Fire also helping generate $294.2 million over five days.
Call Me by Your Name, Luca Guadagnino's swooning, sensual love story, grossed about $413,000 from four theaters in Los Angeles and New York, earning the year's best opening theater average at $103,00 per screen. (Lady Bird had taken in $91,000 per theater last month.)
The movie, set in northern Italy, centers on an evolving affair between a precocious 17-year-old (Timothee Chalamet) and a handsome, mysterious American (Armie Hammer) staying the summer at his family's villa. Critics have fallen for the drama, making it the year's top-rated film on review aggregator Metacritic.
Darkest Hour, a historical drama covering the beginning of Winston Churchill's days of prime minister during World War II, also opened well, grossing $176,000 in a limited release in New York and Los Angeles. The movie serves as something of a companion piece to Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, covering roughly the same period of time. Gary Oldman's turn as Churchill has been regarded as an early front-runner for the lead actor Oscar.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday (except Coco, The Man Who Invented Christmas and Call Me by Your Name, which opened Nov. 22) followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:
Coco, Disney, $50,802,605, 3,987 locations, $12,742 average, $72,908,930, 1 week.
Justice League, Warner Bros., $41,090,491, 4,051 locations, $10,143 average, $171,903,874, 2 weeks.
Wonder, Lionsgate, $22,674,238, 3,172 locations, $7,148 average, $69,807,297, 2 weeks.
Thor: Ragnarok, Disney, $16,863,294, 3,281 locations, $5,140 average, $277,650,571, 4 weeks.
Daddy's Home 2, Paramount, $13,217,419, 3,518 locations, $3,757 average, $72,636,870, 3 weeks.
Murder on the Orient Express, 20th Century Fox, $13,170,932, 3,152 locations, $4,179 average, $74,364,192, 3 weeks.
The Star, Columbia, $6,930,919, 2,837 locations, $2,443 average, $22,088,115, 2 weeks.
A Bad Moms Christmas, STX Entertainment, $4,895,568, 2,306 locations, $2,123 average, $59,645,610, 4 weeks.
Roman J. Israel, Esq., Columbia, $4,447,070, 1,669 locations, $2,665 average, $6,201,114, 2 weeks.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Fox Searchlight, $4,403,003, 614 locations, $7,171 average, $7,614,532, 3 weeks.
Lady Bird, A24, $4,057,559, 791 locations, $5,130 average, $10,726,097, 4 weeks.
The Man Who Invented Christmas, Bleecker Street, $1,353,298, 626 locations, $2,162 average, $1,809,024, 1 week.
Junior Majeur, Entertainment One Films, $688,442, 83 locations, $8,294 average, $688,442, 1 week.
Blade Runner 2049, Warner Bros., $541,078, 434 locations, $1,247 average, $90,201,869, 8 Weeks.
Call Me by Your Name, Sony Pictures Classics, $412,932, 4 locations, $103,233 average, $412,932, 1 week.
Jigsaw, Lionsgate, $371,110, 383 locations, $969 average, $37,267,847, 5 weeks.
The Florida Project, A24, $298,745, 164 locations, $1,822 average, $4,743,560, 8 weeks.
Loving Vincent, Good Deed Entertainment, $272,370, 147 locations, $1,853 average, $5,157,116, 10 weeks.
Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, Lionsgate, $186,310, 248 locations, $751 average, $47,029,442, 6 weeks.
It, Warner Bros., $186,141, 231 locations, $806 average, $327,186,179, 12 weeks.
MovieStyle on 12/01/2017
Print Headline: Disney's colorful Coco lives large