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The Hunger Games Prequel Withstands Wish and Napoleon to Win 2023’s Thanksgiving Weekend Box Office

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes held off both Disney’s Wish and Napoleon to win its second domestic weekend box office over the Thanksgiving holiday.

As reported by Comscore, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes brought in $28.8 million during the Thanksgiving 3-day weekend and $42.0 over the five days that also counts as the holiday box office. That amounted to an impressive week-over-week drop of only 35% from its opening weekend domestic haul of $44.0 million.

The Hunger Games prequel has earned $98.3 million in North America, $98.9 million overseas, and $197.2 million globally.

The Ridley Scott-directed and Joaquin Phoenix-led Napoleon charged into battle this weekend for the first time and emerged in second place with North American earnings of $20.4 million over the weekend and $32.5 million for the 5-day frame. Napoleon, which had a production budget of $200 million, saw its global tally surpass $78.8 million, which was enough to win the global weekend box office.

In our Napoleon review, we said, “As a historical epic, Napoleon is handsome but a little impersonal – you can really feel the absence of texture lost in getting it down under three hours. But between the textbook bullet points, a very funny anti-Great Man biopic peeks through, thanks largely to Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as a Bonaparte who’s more boy than man.”

Disney’s Wish, which was expected to win the Thanksgiving weekend, finished third in its debut in North America with $19.5 million and had a 5-day haul of $31.7 million. As noted by Variety, Wish was projected to earn $35 million over the 3-day weekend and between $45 million to $50 million in its first five days.

Wish performed better than 2022’s Strange World, which brought in only $12 million over its debut weekend and $18 million over its first five days, but it wasn’t able to compete with the $40.3 million 2021’s Encanto earned during its first five days, which was also during COVID.

Comparing it to other Disney Thanksgiving films’ openings, 2019’s Frozen 2 earned $123.7 million, 2018’s Ralph Breaks the Internet raked in $84.6 million, and 2017’s Coco conjured up $71 million.

In our Wish review, we said it “lacks the audacious DNA of features from the Disney Renaissance and earlier eras of the studio. It reads like a safe bet desperate to please without actually grasping at anything that’s innovative. On its own terms Wish is rendered more average than spectacular, but with a few moments where the century-old pixie dust truly sparkles.”

Trolls Band Together took fourth place with $17.5 million and $25.3 million over its first five days, and Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving rounded out the top five with $7.1 million and $11.1 million for the 5-day frame.

For more, check out why Wish’s filmmakers didn’t go full 2D in honor of Disney’s 100th anniversary and Ridley Scott’s favorite shots from Napoleon and the rest of his movies.

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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

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