Box office update: 'Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' set to smash Thanksgiving records

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Image Credit: Murray Close

It turns out moviegoers want fire and ice this Thanksgiving.

Both The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Disney’s Frozen are thriving at the box office, so much so that the films are on track to break records and achieve the two best Thanksgiving five-day weekends of all time.

Catching Fire earned $20.7 million on Wednesday and $14.9 million on Thursday. That $35.6 million haul puts the film on track for a five-day weekend of about $100-105 million, which will handily beat Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone $82.4 million gross over the same period of time in 2001. Remarkably, Catching Fire will have earned about $290 million after just 10 days of release, and if it keeps up this pace, it will easily outdo the original Hunger Games‘ $408 million domestic total.

Frozen is more than holding its own against the behemoth blockbuster. Disney’s animated musical pulled in $26.3 million on Wednesday and Thursday ($15.2 million, then $11.1 million), a substantially bigger start than Tangled, which grossed $19.9 million in its first two days in 2010. That film wound up earning $48.8 million over the following Friday-to-Sunday period (2.45 times its Wednesday/Thursday gross), and if we apply the same metric to Frozen, it’s set to gross $64 million over the traditional weekend frame for a stunning $90 million five-day start.

Much less fortunate were the weekend’s two other newcomers, Homefront and Black Nativity, both of which got the cold shoulder from ticket buyers. The Jason Statham vehicle Homefront grossed $2.8 million over its first two days and may only find about $9.5 million in its first five. Black Nativity fared even worse, with $1.1 million combined on Wednesday and Thursday, which may result in a $3.8 million five-day start. Given the talent involved — Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Mary J. Blige — and the proximity to Christmas, that’s a major disappointment.

The Book Thief didn’t draw huge crowds in its expansion into 1,234 theaters. The film pulled in $1.6 million on Wednesday and Thursday and looks to gross about $5.5 million through Sunday, which will give it a $6.9 million total. Philomena isn’t taking off, either. Judi Dench’s Oscar contender has grossed just under $1 million from 753 theaters in two days. No numbers for Spike Lee’s Oldboy have come in just yet.

Check back tomorrow for another box office update — and enjoy those Thanksgiving leftovers!


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