'Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' Both on Pace for Record-Breaking Thanksgiving Weekend Performances

on November 28, 2013 by Daniel Garris

Please note that because of the Thanksgiving holiday today's grosses are currently estimates. Actuals for Wednesday will be reported on either Friday or Monday.

Boxoffice.com's 3-Day (Fri-Sun) and 5-Day (Wed-Sun) projections based on Wednesday's estimates:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: $68.0M (3-day) / $103.0M (5-day)
Frozen: $60.5M (3-day) / $86.0M (5-day)
Thor: The Dark World: $11.5M (3-day) / $16.3M (5-day)
Delivery Man: $6.9M (3-day) / $9.8M (5-day)
The Best Man Holiday: $6.5M (3-day) / $9.1M (5-day)
Homefront: $6.1M (3-day) / $9.0M (5-day)
The Book Thief: $4.2M (3-day) / $5.7M (5-day)
Free Birds: $3.5M (3-day) / $5.0M (5-day)
Last Vegas: $2.8M (3-day) / $3.8M (5-day)
Gravity: $2.7M (3-day) / $3.7M (5-day)
Black Nativity: $2.6M (3-day) / $3.5M (5-day)
Philomena: $2.5M (3-day) / $3.3M (5-day)

Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Disney's Frozen were both simply massive on Wednesday. While it is still early, both films appear set to top the current all-time unadjusted five-day Thanksgiving weekend record of $82.39 million set way back in 2001 by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Before yesterday, Catching Fire had been widely expected to top that record, but Frozen had not.

Catching Fire took first place on Wednesday with an estimated $20.7 million. That represented a strong 30 percent jump over Tuesday's already impressive performance. Catching Fire surpassed the $200 million domestic milestone on Wednesday and has grossed $207.06 million in its first six days of release. That places Catching Fire 14 percent ahead of the $181.76 million six-day start of last year's The Hunger Games. Based on Wednesday's performance, BoxOffice is currently projecting respective 3-day (Friday through Sunday) and 5-day Thanksgiving weekend takes of $68.0 million and $103.0 million. That would place The Hunger Games: Catching Fire within shouting distance of the $300 million domestic milestone by the end of the weekend.

Frozen was also impressive on Wednesday with an estimated opening day performance of $15.21 million. The latest 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation is on track to exceed expectations after it opened 28 percent stronger than the $11.87 million opening day performance of 2010's Tangled. With the addition of a five-day exclusive run in Los Angeles, Frozen has grossed $15.56 million to date. The film's opening day performance was especially impressive when considering that there isn't much competition for family audiences scheduled this December, which along with strong word of mouth and largely positive critical reviews could help lead to a very lengthy run for the film. BoxOffice is currently projecting respective 3-Day and 5-Day Thanksgiving weekend grosses of $60.5 million and $86.0 million for Frozen.

After a decade of largely lackluster grosses, Walt Disney Animation has certainly rebounded in the last few years with the performances of Tangled, last year's Wreck-It Ralph and now Frozen. The next film from Walt Disney Animation, Big Hero 6, is scheduled to be released in theatres on November 7, 2014.

Fellow Disney release Thor: The Dark World finished in a distant third on Wednesday with an estimated $2.34 million. Marvel's blockbuster superhero sequel was up 21 percent over Tuesday. Thor: The Dark World has grossed $173.56 million through 20 days, which places the film 16 percent ahead of the $149.41 million 20-day take of 2011's Thor. BoxOffice is currently projecting respective 3-day and 5-day holiday grosses of $11.5 million and $16.3 million for Thor: The Dark World.

The weekend's new major releases not named Frozen were all off to rough starts on Wednesday. Open Road's Homefront led the pack with an estimated $1.4 million. That places the action thriller starring Jason Statham and James Franco on pace for respective three-day and five-day starts of $6.1 million and $9.0 million.

Fox's The Book Thief grossed just $725,000 on its first day of wide release. That brings the early total for the drama to $2.18 million through Wednesday. Look for The Book Thief to earn respective three-day and five-day takes of $4.2 million and $5.7 million.

The news was worse for Fox Searchlight release Black Nativity, which managed only $440,000 on Wednesday. Despite a noteworthy cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson, at the end of the day there simply wasn't room for Black Nativity in the marketplace after the stronger than expected performance of The Best Man Holiday earlier this month. Black Nativity is on pace for disappointing respective three-day and five-day starts of $2.6 million and $3.5 million.

The Weinstein Company's Philomena finished just behind Black Nativity (albeit in roughly half as many theatres), with $377,000 on Wednesday. The drama starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan is on track for three-day and five-day grosses of $2.5 million and $3.3 million.

Check back throughout the weekend for further updates on the Thanksgiving weekend box office.

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