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

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. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Catching Fire' surges to $31.3 million on Friday, 'Frozen' may score $100 million five-day debut

As previously reported, both The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen are headed to record-breaking Thanksgiving weekends at the box office. But Black Friday numbers suggest that both films may be even bigger than originally thought — and both could pull in more than $100 million over the five-day frame!

Catching Fire topped the chart on Friday with a sizzling $31.3 million, which sent it right past the $250 million mark on its eighth day of release. The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises are the only two films to ever reach $250 million faster. Catching Fire is currently on pace for a Friday-to-Sunday weekend in the $75-80 million range, which would trail only The Avengers as the best second weekend of all time. Factoring in the combined $35 million that Catching Fire earned on Wednesday and Thursday, the film may pull in $110-120 million over five days, giving it a total of $290-300 million. READ FULL STORY

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

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!

Box office preview: 'Frozen' ready to storm the chart, but it won't beat 'Catching Fire'

Fire or ice? That’s the question that millions of moviegoers will answer this weekend at the box office as Disney’s animated musical Frozen goes head-to-head with record-breaking behemoth The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Will the family film be able to snuff out the blockbuster? Probably not. But it’s still set to do major business over the Wednesday-to-Sunday period. Here’s how things may shake out over the five-day frame:

1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – $91 million
Lionsgate’s $130 million sequel has lit up the box office since its arrival last Friday, and it’s poised to blitz past the $200 million mark on Wednesday, its sixth day of release. The film may add about $30 million to its total over Wednesday and Thursday, then another $61 million or so (a drop of about 60 percent) over the weekend. That would give it $91 million more and push its gross to about $278 million after only 10 days.
READ FULL STORY

'Black Nativity': Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker talk Harlem-set holiday musical -- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK VIDEO

It’s been a long time since there’s been a truly great Christmas musical on the big screen, and Black Nativity is hoping to change that this holiday season.

Director Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) discusses the tale of reconnection, opening Nov. 27, in an exclusive First Look featurette. Nativity centers on a Baltimore teen named Langston (breakout Jacob Latimore, whose name pays homage to the film’s source material: a 1961 stage musical by poet Langston Hughes), who is sent by his down-on-her-luck mother mother (Jennifer Hudson) to spend the holidays in Harlem with her estranged parents — her Reverend father (Oscar winner Forest Whitaker) and his church choir-leading wife (Oscar nominee Angela Bassett).

Despite having her own Oscar on her mantle, Hudson admits to being blown away by the star-studded cast, which also includes R&B powerhouses Mary J. Blige, Tyrese, and Luke James: “Some of my favorite artists are here,” says the triple threat. “It makes such a fun project and a fun cast.” For his part Tyrese, was drawn to Black Nativity because “this is a film that everybody in the family can go and see together. What makes this movie powerful is that you can relate and identify with somebody in this movie.”

Below, Whitaker talks overcoming nerves before stepping into the recording studio, Blige sings Latimore’s praises, Hudson talks working with Grammy winner Raphael Saadiq (who composed new gospel and R&B music for the film), and more cast members give insight to the production. READ FULL STORY

Jennifer Hudson sings in 'Black Nativity' trailer -- VIDEO

What do Jennifer Hudson, Langston Hughes, and Nas all have in common?

They’re all visiting for Christmas this season in the movie, Black Nativity. Based on Hughes’ 1961 “gospel-song play” about the birth of Jesus, writer-director Kasi Lemmons (Talk to Me) gives the story a contemporary spin and setting by exploring the coming-of-age pains of Langston (Jacob Latimore), who’s sent from Baltimore by his struggling mother (Hudson) to live with his grandparents (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett) in Harlem.

There’s loads of singing, Mary J. Blige plays an angel, and an out-of-his-depth Langston has to navigate the mean streets of Times Square.

Watch the trailer below. READ FULL STORY

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