Box office report: 'Frozen' freezes the latest 'Paranormal Activity' out of the top spot with $20.7 million

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Image Credit: Disney

As much of the Northeast was trapped in a winter wonderland not unlike its snow-cursed setting, Disney’s Frozen managed to reclaim the No. 1 spot at the box office for the first time in three weekends. The animated film took in $20.7 million, which is a nearly 28 percent drop from last week’s numbers but still impressive considering it’s no longer a holiday and the film is already in its sixth weekend of wide release. It’s now inevitable that the Disney hit will cross the $300 million mark, as it’s currently sitting pretty at $297.8 million. That’s $97 million more than 2010′s Tangled –Disney’s previous CG-animated adaptation of a fairy tale with a past participle for a title—made in its entire domestic run. Meanwhile, Frozen‘s worldwide total has reached $639.9 million.

Much like the first snow, the first shameless sequel of the year is a milestone that came early in 2014. But Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, the Latino-marketed spin-off and fifth film in the popular horror franchise, couldn’t quite possess the top spot with its shaky-cam scares. The movie took in $18.2 million in its opening weekend, which is a whopping 38 percent less than its predecessor Paranormal Activity 4 made in its first few days out and the lowest ever debut for a Paranormal Activity film in wide release. For the last half-decade, Paramount has been wringing this series for all its worth—Paranormal Activity 5 hits theaters this October—and the returns appear to be diminishing. Moviegoers also seem to be growing a bit tired of the movies’ limited bag of tricks: Despite receiving generally better reviews than PA4The Marked Ones rated a step down with Cinemascore, from C to C-. Still, this is a cheap goose and even if it switches from laying golden eggs to silver ones, it’s fine for the studio.

After three weeks at No. 1, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug tumbles like a dwarf in a barrel to third place with $16.3 million. So far, the second episode of Peter Jackson’s trilogy isn’t reaping quite as big a pile of gold as the first: Smaug comes out of its fourth weekend with a healthy $229.6 million, but that’s still  $34.2 million less than An Unexpected Journey had at this same point last year. The first Hobbit took in a grand total of $303 million domestically, which means the second one most likely won’t make it past that three-double-zero mark. If that ends up being the case, it would be the first of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth films not to do so.

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street takes a decent bite out of the box office with $13.4 million, bringing the total for Martin Scorsese’s coke-fueled tale of stock-pushing sybarites to $63.3 million. There’s a very good chance Marty’s latest will surpass Hugo‘s disappointing total domestic take of $73.9 million, showing Americans prefer their Scorsese to be decidedly un-family friendly. Meanwhile, David O. Russell’s American Hustle, which features more than a wink to Marty’s signature aesthetic, is nipping at The Wolf‘s back paws. It rounds out the list with $13.2 million, as Sony’s critically acclaimed ensemble dissembles its way to $88.7 million.

1. Frozen - $20.7 million
2. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones – $18.2 million
3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - $16.3 million
4. The Wolf of Wall Street – $13.4 million
5. American Hustle - $13.2 million

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