'Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' Both Have Record-Breaking Thanksgiving Weekend Performances

on December 01, 2013 by Daniel Garris
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5-Day Studio Estimates:

Catching Fire - $110.20M
Frozen - $93.01M
Thor: The Dark World - $15.49M
The Best Man Holiday - $11.12M
Homefront - $9.80M
Delivery Man - $9.68M
The Book Thief - $6.40M
Black Nativity - $5.00M
Philomena - $4.60M
Last Vegas - $3.83M
Gravity - $3.57M
Dallas Buyers Club - $3.34M
12 Years a Slave - $3.02M
Free Birds - $2.97M
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa - $2.60M

Lionsgate reports that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire grossed an estimated $74.5 million over the weekend and $110.2 million over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday frame. The blockbuster action-adventure sequel starring Jennifer Lawrence established new unadjusted Thanksgiving weekend records in a big way, as it easily outpaced the respective $57.49 million and $82.39 million three-day and five-day grosses of previous record holder Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone way back in 2001. Catching Fire also generated the fourth largest unadjusted second weekend performance of all-time (behind only last year's Marvel's The Avenges, 2009's Avatar, and 2008's The Dark Knight). For the three-day frame, Catching Fire was down 53 percent from last weekend's debut.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has grossed a massive $296.56 million in its first ten days of release. That places the film an impressive 19 percent ahead of the $248.48 million ten-day take of last year's The Hunger Games (which fell 62 percent in its second weekend to gross $58.55 million).

Disney's Frozen was also especially impressive over the holiday frame with estimated respective three-day and five-day grosses of $66.71 million and $93.01 million. The latest 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation set new records for the largest three-day and five-day unadjusted Thanksgiving openings of all-time, which had been previously held by 1999's Toy Story 2 with respective three-day and five-day takes of $57.39 million and $80.12 million. Frozen exceeded its already lofty pre-release expectations in a big way and outpaced the $68.71 million five-day start of 2010's Tangled by a very healthy 35 percent. With the addition of a five-day exclusive run in Los Angeles before opening wide on Wednesday, Frozen has grossed $93.36 million to date.

The five-day start for Frozen was especially impressive when considering that there isn't much competition for family audiences scheduled this December, which along with strong word of mouth (the film received an A+ rating on CinemaScore) and critical reviews could help lead to a very lengthy run for the film. The audience breakdown for Frozen skewed towards female moviegoers (57 percent) and moviegoers 25 and under (58 percent). Family moviegoers made up 81 percent of the film's total audience.

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 release 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 placed in a distant third with an estimated three-day take of $11.11 million, which represented a 22 percent decline from last weekend. Marvel's blockbuster superhero sequel grossed $15.49 million over the five-day frame. Thor: The Dark World has grossed $186.71 million through 24 days of release. That places Thor: The Dark World 17 percent ahead of the $159.89 million 24-day take of 2011's Thor and leaves the film $13.29 million away from reaching the $200 million domestic milestone.

The weekend's other new major releases not named Frozen left much to be desired. Open Road's Homefront led the pack with respective three-day and five-day debuts of $6.97 million and $9.796 million, though it should be noted that it opened in significantly more locations than The Book Thief, Black Nativity and Philomena did. The action thriller starring Jason Statham and James Franco debuted 17 percent below the $12.00 million five-day Thanksgiving weekend start of 2010's Faster. Homefront received a respectable B rating on CinemaScore.

Over the three-day frame, Fox's The Book Thief grossed $4.85 million (from 1,234 locations), Fox Searchlight's Black Nativity grossed $3.88 million (from 1,516 locations) and The Weinstein Company's Philomena took in $3.79 million (from 835 locations). Respective five-day grosses were $6.40 million for The Book Thief, $5.00 million for Black Nativity and $4.60 million for Philomena. Black Nativity had the most disappointing performance of the trio, given that it had the highest opening weekend expectations of the three and is also likely to be the most front-loaded.  Black Nativity did receive a promising A- rating on CinemaScore.

Off to an even softer start was FilmDistrict's Oldboy. The Spike Lee directed remake managed respective three-day and five-day debuts of only $0.85 million and $1.25 million from 583 locations. Obviously, Oldboy won't be in theatres for long after its poor performance this weekend.

Tags: Oldboy, Philomena, Black Nativity, The Book Thief, Homefront, Thor: The Dark World, Frozen, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
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