“Encanto” Gets Muted Reception at Box Office


November 26-28, 2021

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Encanto $27 million
Ghostbusters: Afterlife  $24.5 million
House of Gucci $14.2 million
Eternals  $7.9 million
Resident Evil:
Welcome to Raccoon City 
$5.2 million

When even a well-reviewed animated movie can't dominate Thanksgiving weekend, you know the box office is in trouble. Disney's Encanto, which featured a South American setting and music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, earned just $27 million over three days, and just a hair over $40 million since opening Wednesday. To put that in perspective, it's worse than 2015's The Good Dinosaur, basically considered Pixar's only flop. The film will hit Disney+ on Christmas Day, which is yet another sign that animated flicks can't turn this around. Once dominant, 2021 has been dire for cartoons. Many former theatrical releases went straight-to-streaming (including The Mitchells vs. the Machines and Luca), and none have yet cracked $60 million total.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife held reasonably well in its second weekend. By next weekend, it will likely be the latest film to crack $100 million at the box office, and could surpass the 2016 reboot, which would be a complicated milestone. House of Gucci did a lot better than Ridley Scott's last film (The Last Duel), earning a solid $21.8 million since Wednesday. It's not the most incredible debut, but considering most movies that don't have superheroes and/or were sequels didn't do so well this year, that's something to be thankful for.

Eternals dropped to fourth place, taking its tally up to $150 million in the process. It still has a chance of eeking into the top 5, but it depends on how well it holds until Spider-Man: No Way Home opens next month. Welcome to Raccoon City, an attempt to reboot the Milla Jovovich-led Resident Evil series opened with a weak $5.2 million. That's well below what The Final Chapter debuted with in 2017.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Licorice Pizza, the much-anticipated new film from Paul Thomas Anderson. It had the best per-screen average of any movie since before the pandemic, with a tremendous $83,000 on each of its four screens.
  • King Richard's crowd-pleasing days never came to fruition. The sports biopic, starring Will Smith as Richard Williams, hasn't even crossed the $12 million mark in two weeks. While Smith may still be an Oscar front-runner, his chances are getting slimmer the longer the film languishes at the box office.
  • Dune finally crossed $100 million domestically, making it Denis Villeneuve's highest-grossing film as a director.

Next weekend:

As usual, the first weekend of December is a quiet one. The only wide release is Wolf, which will likely debut with $2 million or less.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.