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Box Office Results: Frozen Skates Over Catching Fire, Coens' Latest Opens Big

Source: Edward Douglas
December 7, 2013

The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

It was another typically dull weekend at the box office following the lucrative holiday business brought in by Thanksgiving weekend, as people decided to go back to work and school following the nearly week off from the holidays and only two movies showed any signs of life.

As if there wasn't enough ice and snow on the streets this weekend, moviegoers once again flocked to Disney's animated musical adventure Frozen for a second weekend in a row, allowing it to pull just ahead of Katniss Everdeen's second adventure, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate) to take first place.

After making an estimated $6.8 million on Friday, Frozen had a sizable Saturday bump to bring its weekend gross to an estimated $31.6 million, down a respectable 53% from its record-setting Thanksgiving opening. This brings its domestic total to $134 million, and with another $30.6 million added this weekend from 23 foreign territories, the movie's 12-day global gross rises to $190.2 million.

"Catching Fire" took a much nastier 67% plunge--this is fairly typical for the weekend following a holiday where no one works or goes to school on Friday--dropping to second place with $27 million while still playing in 4,163 theaters to bring its domestic total to $336.7 million. It's hard to compare to the original The Hunger Games because that opened during a different time of year, but "Catching Fire" has grossed the same amount in three weekends as the original movie made in its first four weeks.

Internationally, the "Hunger Games" sequel added another $44.3 million in 83 territories bringing its international total to an identical number as North America, $336.7 million, which may indeed be a first in the time I've been reporting box office. That essentially means that its $673 million global take is evenly divided between domestic and international.

For whatever reason, Relativity Media decided to open Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper's latest drama-thriller Out of the Furnace, starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe and Zoe Saldana, in New York and Los Angeles on Wednesday before expanding to 2,101 theaters on Friday. With two strong movies still the top two choices in theaters and reviews being lackluster at best, the star-studded drama suffered the same fate as many other post-Thanksgiving releases, settling for third place with a measly $5.3 million with an additional $27 thousand for Wednesday and Thursday.

No other movie was able to bring in more than $5 million this weekend with Marvel Studios' Thor: The Dark World taking fourth place with $4.7 million ($193.6 million total), followed by Delivery Man (DreamWorks) with less than $4 million and just under $25 million total with one of the better holds in the Top 10 from last weekend. That also essentially makes it three Disney movies in the Top 5 this week, for those counting.

The bottom half of the Top 10 included the Jason Statham action-thriller Homefront (Open Road), the comedy sequel The Best Man Holiday (Universal), The Book Thief (20th Century Fox) and Philomena (The Weinstein Company), while Fox Searchlight's Black Nativity fell right out of the Top 10 with a 72% drop from its holiday opening weekend. Ouch.

The only other new release of any significance was that of Inside LLewyn Davis (CBS Films), the first movie from Joel and Ethan Coen in the three years since their hit Western True Grit. Starring Oscar Isaac, John Goodman, Carey Mulligan, Adam Driver and more, the Oscar-winning filmmakers' tribute to the '60s folk scene opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles to the tune of $402 thousand or just over $100 thousand per site. That's one of the top per-theater averages of the year for a limited release and more than doubles the $41.9 thousand per site average of the Coens' previous limited release A Serious Man in 2009. It expands wider into more cities on December 20,

We were curious to see whether the death of South Africa's greatest leader Nelson Mandela last week would have an impact on the biopic Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom (The Weinstein Company), starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris as Nelson and Winnie Mandela. Although the Weinstein Company kept it in only four theaters in New York and L.A., it held up well, down less than 8% from its Thanksgiving opening.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.

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