‘Frozen 2,’ ‘Knives Out’ Carve Out Big Holiday Business

It was a bit of a mixed bag at the North America box office over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend as business saw a dip –yet again- in ticket sales. Not only was business 12% lower than last weekend, it was also down a steep 18% in comparison to Thanksgiving 2018.

One film not having trouble making money was Disney’s Frozen II, which slowed a mere 35% in its second weekend on 4,440 screens to score an estimated $85.2 million. Ten days in, Frozen II has brought in a fantastic $287.6 million.

With the entire month of December all to itself –the animated Spies in Disguise doesn’t arrive until Christmas Eve-, Frozen II should be able to finish its run with at least $450 million in North America, possibly even more. Internationally, Elsa has collected $451 million to date.

The weekend’s other big hit was Lionsgate’s acclaimed murder mystery Knives Out, which landed in second place with a sharp $27 million from 3,461 screens ($41.7 million since its Wednesday opening). The all-star murder mystery –the latest directorial effort from Last Jedi director Rian Johnson that features Daniel Craig, Chris Evans and Jamie Lee Curtis among many others- scored rave reviews across the board from both critics and the public, both which should guarantee that the film will have a long, healthy run throughout the end of the year and right into awards season. Knives Out scored a 96% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, an 82/100 on Metacritic and an “A-“ from ticket buyers polled on CinemaScore.

Overseas, Knives Out debuted with a strong $28.3 million from a handful of markets. China was the top spot for the whodunit with $13.5 million followed by the United Kingdom with $3.8 million.

Still cruising in third place with an estimated $13.2 million from 3,446 theaters was Fox/Disney’s Ford v. Ferrari. Down only 16% in its third weekend, the Matt Damon/Christian Bale headliner has brought in $81 million so far and should cross the $100 million mark by Christmas. Ford has earned $62 million so far internationally.

Sony’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood benefitted from great word-of-mouth as the Tom Hanks headliner dipped a mere 11% in its second week on 3,325 screens to earn $11.8 million. Beautiful Day has scored a solid $35 million after ten days. If the strong feedback among viewers continues –and the film scores some year-end awards love-, Day should be able to work its way to somewhere around the $65-70 million mark.

Rounding out the top five was the week’s second opener, Universal’s Queen & Slim, with an estimated $11.68million from 1,690 theaters ($16 million since Wednesday). The acclaimed R-rated drama starring Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya scored a solid 84% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 74/100 on Metacritic. Viewers polled on CinemaScore were just as impressed with the Melina Matsoukas drama, giving Queen & Slim an “A-.”

  1. 21 Bridges (STX) $5.8 million (-37%); $20.4 million
  2. Playing With Fire (Paramount) $4.2 million (-7%); $39.2 million
  3. Midway (2019) (Lionsgate) $4 million (-15%); $50.2 million
  4. Joker (Warner) $2 million (-26%); $330 million
  5. Last Christmas (Universal) $1.98 million (-36%); $31.6 million

With only STX’s Playmobil: The Movie opening in wide release next Friday, the top five should remain unchanged.

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