Audiences Go Cuckoo for Coco


Leave it to a movie about dead people to inject a little life into the box office.

Coco, Pixar Studio’s latest visual feast, carved up the box office over the Thanksgiving weekend, gobbling an estimated $49 million over the traditional three-day frame. Throw in Wednesday night and Thanksgiving Day, and Pixar stuffed about $71.2 million into its coffers. Yes indeed, Pixar had plenty to be thankful for.

Granted, it’s not exactly news that a Disney/Pixar flick would stand atop the Thanksgiving box office. According to Box Office Mojo, the top nine Turkey Day holiday grosses belong to either Disney or Pixar. Coco stands fourth in that esteemed honor roll, trailing Frozen ($67.4 million), Toy Story 2 ($57.4 million) and Moana ($56.6 million).

Justice League, last week’s champ, had to settle for Thanksgiving leftovers. The maligned superhero flick slipped to second with $40.7 million. But lest you feel too bad for our caped crusaders, Justice League has earned $171.5 million in North America during its run—more than most of us earned over the last 10 days. Oh, and toss in the $309.8 million it’s grabbed overseas, and the movie’s total tally stands at $481.3 million. Warner Bros. could probably stomach a few more “flops” like that.

Let’s leave Wonder Woman now and talk about Wonder, a touching family film that held up well in its second weekend and earned $22.3 million for third. Thor: Ragnarok could not best the sweet little boy in a space helmet, so the superhero flick settled for a fourth-place, $16.8 million weekend.

Daddy’s Home 2 closes out the box office’s top five with $13.3 million, beating out Murder on the Orient Express by the width of a knife. (Murder earned a lucky $13 million and slid to sixth.)

Outside the top five, we’re seeing awards season heating up, with several hopefuls either entering the fray or expanding their runs. Roman J. Israel, Esq. expanded from four theaters to 1,669. It collected $4.5 million to finish ninth, edging out the also-expanding angry drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (10th place, $4.4 million) and the coming-of-age dramedy Lady Bird (11th place, $4 million). Call Me By Your Name and Darkest Hour both opened in four theaters, collecting $405,000 and $176,000, respectively.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous 12 days ago
It's a shame Plugged In is dismissing Coco as "counterfeit spirituality" and "a pagan worldview," because it's one of the best Pixar movies ever, in my opinion. 

Technical aspects aside, I think Coco is ideal for presenting a different view of death: that it's sad, yes, but that the dead live on through our memories. But more than that, Coco introduces American kids in particular to a worldview outside their own, and to the beauty of a country they might never visit. It's a fond, respectful look at one of Mexico's most beloved traditions. There is nothing wrong with introducing kids to that. 
Anonymous 14 days ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I was planning on seeing Coco sometime in theaters, but after reading PI's review of the film, I probably won't see the movie at all (or at least in theaters).

It's kinda sad, to be honest. I love Pixar and their movies; they've made, in my opinion, some of the greatest movies ever made. And for a few years now I've made it a tradition to see their latest film in theaters. But with all the sacrilegious stuff in Coco, I'll now sadly have to break that tradition.

Then again, I was gonna break anyway with Toy Story 4 being made, so I guess breaking it a couple years early won't be too bad.
Evan Weisensel 13 days ago
What, Cars 2 didn't make you want to stop seeing every Pixar movie every year?
bobed 13 days ago
Pixar has made a LOT of great stuff. One mediocre movie is going to stop you from seeing the best animation has to offer?
Evan Weisensel 13 days ago
I know, I was making a joke.

Wall-E, Up, and Toy Story 3 are some of my favorite movies of all time and I'm super hyped about Incredibles 2 next year.

Also, might check CoCo out someday too, I've always liked learning about other culture's mythology and folklore.
bobed 14 days ago
Some positive news. Out of the top 5 box office, a whole TWO (including the number one) are family friendly. Wow! Maybe someday we'll see the day when it's three, or four, or even all 5. In my humble opinion, foul content (swearing, sex references, gruesome or video game violence) are almost never necessary to tell a good story. When will filmmakers realize this? Remember Rear Window? A thrilling, fun movie with pretty much nothing wrong with it. Let's go back to the old days when movies were good AND clean.
bobed 14 days ago
I've been seeing a lot of comments about the pagan content of Coco. Here's my take on the matter. Sure, we can trust our kids to discern fantasy from reality. They are often much smarter than we think. But there's a difference between trusting them to detect counterfeit spirituality...and DELIBERATELY exposing them to 2 hours of counterfeit spirituality. I won't be taking my brood to see Coco.