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Disney’s Encanto and Children’s Vaccines Raise the Box Office for Thanksgiving

Stephanie Beatrice voices Mirabelle Madrigal in Disney’s Encanto.

Disney

Thanksgiving week tends to be a favorable time for the box office, as parents with young children flock to theaters to watch new animated films and families look for the latest blockbusters that will appeal to people of all ages.

Covid-19 kept many moviegoers out of theaters this past Thanksgiving, leading to its worst November box office performance in decades. However, given the rise in vaccination rates and the recent approval of a vaccine for children ages 5-11, it is hoped that the box office will improve significantly this year.

“This Thanksgiving will be the first time that many families can safely get together since the start of the pandemic, and this is the time of year when the most casual moviegoers often go to the theaters with their loved ones,” Sean said. Robbins, Principal Analyst at BoxOffice.com.

Robbins noted that health conscious consumers can still avoid crowded public spaces.

“Still, given how well the box office has grown this year, we could see very positive theater turnout, reminiscent of something much closer to the pre-coronavirus holiday seasons than the industry was twelve months ago.”

Over the past decade, the five-day period of Thanksgiving – from Wednesday before Thanksgiving to Sunday – has resulted in more than $ 250 million in ticket sales annually, according to Comscore data. The only two years that did not hit that threshold were 2011 and 2014, but the box office still exceeded $ 230 million in each case.

Last year, the five-day Thanksgiving box office grossed just $ 21.4 million.

“Thanksgiving in theaters will be exponentially stronger in 2021 than a year ago, when the pandemic stalled this traditionally massive cinema corridor,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

“The good news for movie theaters is that this year’s Thanksgiving shot will benefit from a great selection of interesting films, a full five movie-fueled vacation days, and crucially, a much more vaccinated population,” he said. “In particular, children whose parents need to feel confident and comfortable in order to take the whole family to the multiplex.”

All eyes are on Disney’s Encanto, which opens on Wednesday. The company has long used Thanksgiving as a week to launch new animated films from its Disney Animation and Pixar studios. Last year, for the first time in five years, Disney did not release a new animated film during the holidays.

The company has also consistently led the way in ticket sales this holiday weekend. Films like Tangled, Frozen, Moana, Coco, Ralph Against the Internet, and Frozen 2 were well received and had good debuts.

Box office analysts are optimistic that more families will go to cinemas compared to last year, but do not expect ticket sales to be the same as before the pandemic.

“Yes, as more children get fully vaccinated and more adults get vaccinated or boosted, I hope our life can return to normal,” said Dr. Sonia Rasmussen, professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Epidemiology at University of Florida College of Medicine.

The introduction of a vaccine for children is still at an early stage. About 10% of the 28 million children aged 5 to 11 in the United States received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, Rasmussen said. Children are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose.

So while some parents may feel the courage to return to the theaters by giving their children their first dose of vaccine, others may delay vaccinations until their children are fully vaccinated, said Dr. Simon Lee, assistant professor at Rutgers Robert Wood School of Medicine. Johnson. …

Lee is the principal investigator at the site of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine trials in children and called approving vaccinations for children “a huge deal.”

He noted that studies have shown that this age group carries most of the disease, and vaccination against it can help stop the spread of the disease.

“You can still transmit the infection, it is much smaller and much safer,” he said of the vaccinated children. “But people should definitely have the confidence to go out and watch movies and enjoy life.”

Other films released this week include House of Gucci, Pizza with Licorice and Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. There is much interest in House Gucci and Licorice Pizza as potential Oscar nominees that could encourage older moviegoers to head to theaters during the five-day Thanksgiving period.

Plus, Ghostbusters: The Afterlife kicks off its second week in theaters and may entice families with older children or nostalgic adults to head to the theaters after Thanksgiving.

Box office analysts expect the five-day Thanksgiving period to generate $ 100 million to $ 150 million in ticket sales.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal is a distributor of Gucci House and Licorice Pizza.


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