Weekend Wrap Up: “Frozen” Not Cold Enough to Freeze “Catching Fire”

It was a box office feast at the movies this weekend, as both Catching Fire and newcomer Frozen beat the previous records for best three day and five day Thanksgiving weekend records. With those two gobbling up records, Catching Fire clearly primed for a fantastic run while Frozen surprised many and should be one of Disney’s most successful non-Marvel, non-Pixar movies in quite some time. I love weekends like this; they’re so fun to write about.

Catching Fire

File:Catching-Fire poster.jpg

When Catching Fire initially didn’t show much growth over The Hunger Games, there was a little cause for concern. Now? Those worries are a distant memory. Scheduling a huge blockbuster to open the weekend before Thanksgiving is always a good movie, as the holiday weekend softens the inevitable second weekend drop, as well as buoying weekday grosses leading up to the weekend. Those factors allowed Katniss and company to gross an additional $74.5 million this weekend, which ranks fourth all time among second weekends.

Catching Fire dropped 53%, which given the magnitude of its opening, is a very solid hold. Through ten days, it has a running total of $296.5 million, which puts it way ahead of the pace of The Hunger Games, which had amassed $248 million in its first ten days. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, though, because the first flick didn’t have the benefit of a holiday in its second weekend. By any measure, though, this is a rousing success and Catching Fire will have no trouble passing $400 million and should beat out Iron Man 3 to become the highest grossing film of the year.

Second place goes to Frozen, which destroyed expectations–especially mine–with an extremely impressive $66.7 million. That handily beats Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled, two other non-Pixar Disney releases in November. Opening above $60 million is usually the domain of Pixar movies, so this is a fantastic result. Frozen has grossed $93 million in total, and given its glowing reviews, could easily find its way to $250 million, with $300 million hardly being out of the question.

Thanks to a holiday boost, Thor: The Dark World dropped just 21%. The Mighty Thor pulled in $11.1 million, lifting its total to $186.7 million. It should finish around $210 million. The Best Man Holiday rebounded a bit this weekend after last week’s big drop. It fell 32% to $8.5 million and lifted its sum to $63.4 million. Jason Statham’s latest, Homefront, did pretty standard Statham numbers with a $7 million opening, and $9.8 million since Wednesday.

After an underwhelming debut, Delivery Man held quite well, dipping 13% to $6.9 million. It has $19.5 million in the bank. Expanding into nationwide release, The Book Thief grossed $4.9 million by way of a 696% increase and has now grossed $7.9 million in total. Flopping badly, Black Nativity managed just $3.9 million, and $5 million in total after opening on Wednesday.

Ninth goes to a movie I’ve barely heard of, Philomena, which grossed $3.8 million this weekend after increasing 2850%. It was only in four theatres last weekend. It now has $4.8 million in the bank. Finally, in tenth, we have 12 Years a Slave, which grossed just over $3 million. It increased 7%. $33.1 million in total for the Oscar hopeful.

That wraps up a potent Thanksgiving weekend, and although things will come back down to earth a bit next weekend, the box office should stay interesting throughout the rest of the year. Next weekend sees just one opener, Out of the Furnace, starring Christian Bale. But Catching Fire and Frozen will still easily lead the way. A always, I’ll be back next weekend to analyze it all. Until we meet again.

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