NEW YORK, Nov 29 — Disney’s new animated musical fantasy film Encanto has topped the North American box office for the three-day weekend, taking in an estimated US$27 million (RM114.4 million), industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Sunday.

Its numbers fell short of previous family-oriented Thanksgiving weekend releases such as Frozen II and Coco but were still seen as a sign that family films are starting to return to health in the pandemic era.

With original music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Encanto tells the story of a family in the mountains of Colombia endowed with special powers — except for daughter Mirabel, who ends up having to save the others. Voice actors include Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo and Diane Guerrero.

Also faring well was Sony’s family-friendly Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The latest chapter in the wacky supernatural franchise took in an estimated US$24.5 million to place second for the Friday-through-Sunday period.

Directed by Jason Reitman, whose father Ivan Reitman made the original 37 years ago, Afterlife stars Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon and Mckenna Grace in a ghostly tale that has shape-shifted from 1980s Manhattan to today’s small-town Oklahoma.

Further reflecting Hollywood’s gradual recovery, Ridley Scott’s new crime drama House of Gucci placed third at US$14.2 million, a healthy showing for an adult-oriented film at a time when Covid fears have kept many older viewers at home.

The MGM/United Artists film stars Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci, the onetime head of the famed Gucci fashion house, and Lady Gaga — again drawing Oscar buzz three years after A Star Is Born — as Patrizia Reggiani, the vengeful ex-wife who in 1995 hired a hitman to murder Gucci outside his Milan office.

The star-laden cast also includes Al Pacino, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Irons and Jared Leto.

Disney/Marvel superhero film Eternals placed fourth, at US$7.9 million, while surpassing an accumulated US$150 million domestically. Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden and Gemma Chan star in the story of an immortal race of aliens who emerge from hiding to save the Earth.

And in fifth was Sony and Screen Gems’ new Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. The video game adaptation took in US$5.3 million, with Kaya Scodelario and Robbie Amell starring.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

Clifford the Big Red Dog (US$4.9 million)

King Richard (US$3.3 million)

Dune (US$2.2 million)

No Time to Die (US$1.8 million)

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (US$1.6 million) — ETX Studio