Box Office: Frozen Freezes Out Catching Fire To Be #1

With a surge of cold weather dropping temperatures to low teens and single digits across most of the United States, you could say that we are nearing a Winter Wonderland. Getting into the spirit movie audiences responded accordingly by taking a trip to their favorite cineplex all bundled up to enjoy Frozen ($31.6 million for the weekend). Yes, they put on their warm clothes to see a movie called Frozen, and in the process made it the number one movie of the weekend, leapfrogging over two-week holdover The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

It’s not surprising that the Disney animated release with two princesses (not to be confused with Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes”) was able to get the best of Katnis Everdeen. Word of mouth has been strong for the feature, and as the only major family entertainment available in theaters now that Free Birds is gone, it will remain the holiday crowdpleaser well through Christmas. It probably won’t hold on to that number one spot with The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug forthcoming this weekend, but the Walt Disney Animation Studios release has a better than average shot at toppling Tangled as the best domestic performer since WDAS was established back in 2007 with the release of Meet the Robinsons. To dethrone Tangled, Frozen needs to gross approximately $65 million.

Catching Fire may have finished second best, but $27 million for its third weekend isn’t half bad. It now has a worldwide total of $673.4 million. The first Hunger Games finished with $691 million overall. It will be interesting to see how close the sequel will get to $1 billion. $750 million worldwide seems more than doable. A ten-figure number is very ambitious.

Opening in third, Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace fizzled earning only $5.3 million on over 2,000 screens. A talented ensemble of Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, and Willem Dafoe, with Christian Bale leading the pack, the R-rated revenge tale about brotherly love didn’t rate highly with audiences and was 50/50 with critics. Seems like a mistimed release for the most part. I mean who slots a revenge tale the weekend after Thanksgiving?

Thor: The Dark World is still laying the hammer in fourth place with $4.7 million. Its worldwide total is $610.3 million. Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man takes fifth with $3.8 million. Jason Statham may not be a world beater when it comes as a box office draw, but he’ll beat your ass if you say otherwise. His film Homefront fights the good fight with $3.4 million earned. The Book Thief (#7) has quietly made $12 million. The Best Man Holiday inches closer to $70 million overall, taking in $2.7 million in its fourth week. The last two spots of the top ten are devoted to awards contenders Philomena ($2.3 million) and Dallas Buyers Club ($1.5 million).

On the limited release, specialty box office front Joel & Ethan Coens’ Inside Llewyn Davis opened in four theaters and made $402,000, averaging an impressive $100,500 per theater. That PTA is enough to make it the best performing Coens’ opening ever, and that $100.5k figure is the second best opening in limited release of the year (after Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine and its $102,011). In its second week, Justin Chadwick’s Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom made $77,652 from 4 theaters, while Alexander Payne’s Nebraska made $545,000 from 115 theaters.

Weekend Box Office Results: December 6 – 8, 2013

1. Frozen (Buena Vista) – $31,641,000 ($134,278,000)

2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (LionsGate) – $27,000,000 ($336,665,000)

3. Out of the Furnace (Relativity Media) – $5,300,000

4. Thor: The Dark World (Buena Vista) – $4,740,000 ($193,640,000)

5. Delivery Man (Buena Vista) – $3,775,000 ($24,799,000)

6. Homefront (Open Road Films) – $3,384,000 ($15,284,000)

7. The Book Thief (Fox) – $2,700,000 ($12,075,000)

8. The Best Man Holiday (Universal) – $2,673,000 ($67,239,000)

9. Philomena (The Weinstein Company) – $2,282,000 ($8,255,000)

10. Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features) – $1,459,000 ($12,411,000)

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