Disney’s Encanto, vaccines for kids bring hope at Thanksgiving box office

Stephanie Beatriz plays Mirabel Madrigal in Disney’s “Encanto”.


Thanksgiving week is usually a box office boom as parents with young children flock to theaters to see new animated films and families search for the latest blockbuster movies that can be enjoyed by all ages. .

Covid-19 kept many moviegoers away from theaters this past Thanksgiving, leading the box office to deliver its worst performance during the November break in decades. However, with increasing vaccination rates and the recent approval of a vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, it is hoped that the box office will see significant improvements this year.

“This Thanksgiving will be the first time many families can safely reunite since the onset of the pandemic, and it’s also the time of year when the more laid-back moviegoers often go to the movies with their loved ones.” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.

Robbins noted that health-conscious consumers can always choose to avoid crowded public spaces.

“Nonetheless, with the way the box office has rebounded so far this year, we might see very positive turnout in theaters looking like something much closer to the pre-Covid holiday seasons than what the industry saw twelve months ago. “

Over the past decade, the five-day Thanksgiving gap – consisting of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to Sunday – has generated more than $ 250 million in ticket sales each year, according to data from Comscore. The only two years that didn’t reach that threshold were 2011 and 2014, but the box office tally still exceeded $ 230 million in each case.

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

“The framework for the Thanksgiving holiday in theaters will be exponentially stronger in 2021 than a year ago when the pandemic put the brakes on this traditionally massive cinema hallway,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

“The good news for theaters is that this Thanksgiving setting will be blessed with a great list of interesting movies, a solid five days of movie-fueled vacation and, most importantly, a much more vaccinated population,” did he declare. “Especially children, whose parents need to feel confident and comfortable taking the whole family to the multiplex.”

All eyes are on Disney’s “Encanto,” which opens Wednesday. The company has long used Thanksgiving as a week to launch new animated titles from its Disney Animation and Pixar studios. Last year marked the first time in five years that Disney didn’t release a new animated feature over the holidays.

The company has also consistently been among the top performers in terms of ticket sales over this bank holiday weekend. Movies like “Tangled”, “Frozen”, “Moana”, “Coco”, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Frozen II” have all been well received by audiences and have had strong openings.

Box office analysts are optimistic that more families will be heading to theaters compared to last year, but don’t expect the same ticket sales seen before the pandemic.

“Yes, as more and more children are fully immunized and more adults are vaccinated or receive their boosters, I hope our lives can get back to normal,” Dr Sonja said. Rasmussen, professor in the departments of pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

The rollout of vaccines for children is still in its early stages. About 10% of the 28 million children aged five to 11 in the United States received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, Rasmussen said. Children are considered fully immunized two weeks after their second dose.

So while some parents may feel emboldened to return to the movies after giving their children their first dose of the vaccine, others may wait until their children are fully immunized, said Professor Dr Simon Li. associated with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. .

Li is working as the site’s principal investigator for Pfizer’s Covid vaccine trial in children and called the approval of vaccinations for children a “huge deal.”

He noted that studies have shown that this age group transmitted much of the disease and that vaccinating them against it could help stem some of the spread.

“You can still pass the infection on, it’s so much weaker and so much safer,” he said of children getting vaccinated. “But, people should definitely be confident going out to see movies and enjoy life.”

Other films released this week include “House of Gucci”, “Licorice Pizza” and “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City”. “House of Gucci” and “Licorice Pizza” are garnering great interest as potential Oscar nominees, which could push older moviegoers to theaters during the five days of Thanksgiving.

Additionally, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is entering its second week in theaters and could inspire families with older children or nostalgic adults to venture out to the movies after their Thanksgiving parties.

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

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

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