Box office report: 'Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' break Thanksgiving records

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Image Credit: Murray Close

Stomachs weren’t the only thing full over Thanksgiving weekend — so were movie theaters showing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The film pulled in a terrific $110.1 million over the Wednesday-to-Sunday period — $74.5 million of that during the traditional weekend frame — which gives the sequel a stunning $296.5 million domestic total after only 10 days. (The film has already pulled in a total of $573 million worldwide.)

Catching Fire set a new record for both the 3-day and 5-day Thanksgiving weekend, surpassing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which grossed $57.5 million/$82.4 million in 2001. Lionsgate’s $130 million sequel is now on track to easily outgross The Hunger Games‘ $408 million domestic total. And if it maintains this pace, it could climb above $450 million.

Amazingly, Disney’s animated musical Frozen also broke Harry Potter‘s records during its opening weekend, though it wasn’t quite as gigantic as Catching Fire. Frozen grossed $93 million over five days and $66.7 million from Friday to Sunday. That number easily trumped Disney’s last animated princess film, Tangled, which grossed $68.1 million over its five-day Thanksgiving debut. Frozen scored with audiences, earning an “A+” CinemaScore, which will help it earn back its $150 million budget (and much, much more) in no time. It’s not common that two films ever play as well simultaneously as Frozen and Catching Fire did this weekend. Who said women aren’t box office draws?

Thor: The Dark World held onto third place with $15.5 million over the extended frame and $11.1 million for the weekend. Marvel’s $170 million superhero film has now earned $186.7 million, putting it just ahead of the original Thor‘s $181 million domestic cume. Worldwide, The Dark World has already hammered up $591 million.

In fourth, The Best Man Holiday grossed another $11.1 million over five days ($8.5 million for the traditional weekend frame). Universal’s $17 million comedy has now earned $63.4 million total, and unsurprisingly, another sequel is already in the works.

Jason Statham’s latest vehicle Homefront nabbed the fifth place slot with a $9.8 million five-day start. The film pulled in just $7 million over the typical weekend, and it joins Statham’s long list of middling box office performers. Still, Homefront, distributed by open Road Films, only cost $22 million to produce and it fared much better than fellow newcomer Black Nativity, which finished outside the Top 5 with just $5 million since Wednesday. The $17.5 million film stars Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, and Jennifer Hudson, but audiences weren’t inspired to check it out.

Weekend Box Office for Nov. 27-Dec. 1
1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – $110.1 million
2. Frozen – $93.0 million
3. Thor: The Dark World – $15.5 million
4. The Best Man Holiday – $11.1 million
5. Homefront – $9.8 million

Two other new new arrivals in the Top 10 fell more on the side of Homefront and Black Nativity than Frozen or Catching Fire. Fox’s The Book Thief grossed a middling $6.4 million in five days after expanding into 1,234 theaters. Meanwhile, The Weinstein Co.’s Philomena found just $4.6 million in the same period of time from 835 theaters .

Of course, no film fared as badly as Spike Lee’s remake Oldboy, which grossed just $1.3 million from 583 theaters between Wednesday until Sunday ($850,000 between Friday and Sunday). The film’s awful $1,458 per-theater average won’t merit further expansion in the weeks to come.


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