‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire,’ ‘Frozen’ smashing Thanksgiving box-office records
Black Friday shoppers swarmed the multiplexes as well as the malls, putting this year’s Thanksgiving weekend box office on its way to being the biggest ever. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Frozen” have the holiday on a record-breaking pace, after huge Fridays.
Lionsgate’s Jennifer Lawrence sequel ran up a smashing $31.2 million and is now looking at a $110 million five-day haul that would shatter the holiday mark of $82.4 million set by “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 2001. It broke the record for the biggest Thanksgiving Day ever Thursday and has taken in more than $253 million domestically (and $229 million overseas) since it opened last weekend.
And after its sizzling $26.8 million Friday, Disney Animation’s 3D family film “Frozen” should wind up with a five-day total north of $90 million, easily topping the previous best $80.1 million five-day debut of Pixar’s “Toy Story 2″ in 1999. It will also be the biggest Disney Animation opening ever, ahead of another Thanksgiving release, “Tangled,” which brought in nearly $69 million in 2010.
With those two movies showing the way, this year’s long holiday haul could exceed $300 million, which would top the record set last year when “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2,” “Skyfall” and Oscar contenders “Lincoln” and “Life of Pi” helped the box hit $291 million.
The weekend has been all “Catching Fire” and “Frozen,” so far. “Thor: The Dark World” will be a distant third and is likely finish the five days at around $15 million. The other wide openers – the Jason Statham-James Franco thriller “Homefront,” the musical “Black Nativity” and Spike Lee’s “Oldboy,” are turning out to be box-office turkeys.
Open Road’s R-rate ‘Homefront” brought in $2.6 million Friday and will likely finish the five days in sixth at around $9 million. Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity” did $1.5 million and is looking at $5 million an eighth place for the long weekend. And FilmDistrict’s “Oldboy,” an R-rated vengeance tale starring James Brolin, is tanking. It managed just $341,000 Friday and will finish the holiday at around $1 million.
“The Best Man Holiday” and “Delivery Man” were running fourth and fifth. Universal’s romantic comedy sequel from Malcolm D. Lee brought in $3.4 million Friday and should finish with around $11 million for the five days. DreamWorks and Disney’s Vince Vaughn’s sperm donor comedy did $2.7 million Friday and will wind up at around $9.5 million in its second week.
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Two expanding Oscar hopefuls, “The Book Thief” and “Philomena,” broke into the top ten.
Fox went nationwide with its World War II drama starring 12-year-old Sophie Nelisse and it brought in $1.9 million from 1,234 theaters, which puts it on track for $6.6 million and seventh place.
The Weinstein Company aggressively expanded its Judi Dench drama from four theaters to 835 locations and it brought in $1.3 million, good for ninth place.