Disney-Pixar’s Coco has the edge over Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment’s Justice League in a race for the top domestic box office spot with about $70 million.
Early estimates on Wednesday showed Justice League matching forecasts, which had been in the $60 million to $65 million range at 4,051 locations.
The most recent numbers showed Coco was performing above pre-opening expectations, which had been in the $55 million to $60 million range.
Coco was taking in about $12 million on Wednesday at 3,948 venues, which included $2.3 million in Tuesday night previews. Justice League is pegged to gross around $10.3 million on Wednesday, bringing its six-day total to about $122 million.
Coco is opening against the backdrop of Disney’s animation chief John Lasseter taking a six-month leave from the company over allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women.
Coco is already a blockbuster in Mexico with $48.8 million, the biggest opening of all time in that market, following its October 20 premiere at the Morelia Film Festival. The central character is a 12-year-old who dreams of becoming a musician and sets off to explore his family history in the Land of the Dead.
Lee Unkrich directed and Adrian Molina co-directed the film. Disney-Pixar does not provide estimates of the production costs but industry sources say that the price tag is usually in the $175 million to $200 million range.
Justice League has a respectable B+ CinemaScore and is the fifth installment of its DC Extended Universe, aimed at duplicating the success of Disney-Marvel’s interconnected franchises.
Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman along with Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as the Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Warner Bros. has not disclosed the production cost, which is believed to be as much as $300 million.
Lionsgate’s family drama Wonder should finish third with about $37 million over the five days. The Jacob Tremblay vehicle opened far above expectations with $27 million on its debut weekend and has taken in $37.2 million in its first five days.