Box Office Showdown: 'Hunger Games' Prequel and 'Napoleon' Outshine 'Wish'

Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix attends "The Burnt Orange Heresy" photocall during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 07, 2019 in Venice, Italy. - Image (Editorial credit: Denis Makarenko /

Thanksgiving Box Office Surprise

  • 'Hunger Games' Prequel Triumphs: "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes" dominated the Thanksgiving box office, grossing an estimated $42 million over the five-day period.
  • 'Napoleon' Edges Out 'Wish': Ridley Scott's 'Napoleon' surprised analysts by taking the second spot, outperforming Disney's 'Wish'.
  • Box Office Recovery: The 2023 Thanksgiving box office saw a 40% increase from last year but still lagged behind pre-pandemic levels.

Detailed Box Office Analysis

'Hunger Games' Leads the Pack "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes" easily led the domestic box office, amassing nearly $100 million domestically and $197.3 million globally. Its success is a testament to the enduring popularity of the 'Hunger Games' franchise.

'Napoleon' Defies Expectations Ridley Scott's 'Napoleon', starring Joaquin Phoenix, garnered $32.5 million over five days, surpassing initial projections. Its success, particularly among older male audiences, marks a significant win for Apple's theatrical ambitions.

Disney's 'Wish' Falls Short Disney's 'Wish', an original animated feature, placed third with $31.7 million over the holiday period. Despite high expectations, it underperformed, reflecting ongoing challenges in the family film market.

Industry Implications

A Mixed Bag for Disney Disney's mixed performance at the box office, highlighted by 'Wish's' underwhelming debut, contrasts with the success of 'Hunger Games' and 'Napoleon'. This underscores the unpredictable nature of moviegoer preferences post-pandemic.

The Resilience of Adult Dramas 'Napoleon's' performance indicates a robust appetite for adult dramas, a genre often overshadowed by blockbuster franchises and animated features.

Family Films Struggle to Rebound The modest performance of family-oriented films like 'Wish' and 'Trolls Band Together' suggests that this segment is still recovering from the pandemic's impact.

Looking Ahead

As the film industry continues to navigate the post-pandemic landscape, the Thanksgiving box office results offer valuable insights. The success of 'The Hunger Games' prequel and 'Napoleon' demonstrates the diverse tastes of audiences, while the struggle of 'Wish' highlights the ongoing challenges faced by family films. The industry will be watching closely to see if these trends continue into the lucrative holiday season and beyond.

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