‘Frozen 2’ ices competition again with record U.S. Thanksgiving

LOS ANGELES — “Frozen 2” kept a wintry wind at its back in its second week, setting a Thanksgiving record with a whopping box office bounty, while newcomer “Knives Out” found its own broad audience.

Disney’s new set of adventures for Anna, Elsa and Olaf brought in $85.3 million in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend and earned an unprecedented $132.7 million for the holiday frame of Wednesday through Sunday, according to studio estimates.

The first “Frozen” opened on Thanksgiving in 2013, but the sequel opened a week prior to the holiday, making it poised for a huge second week, with out-of-school kids happy to see it a second or a third time.

“Having the opening weekend falling a few days ahead of Thanksgiving really set it up perfectly,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for the box office tracker Comscore.

That came on top of a record-burying opening weekend of $127 million debut domestically and $350.2 million worldwide that made it the highest-grossing global debut for any animated film globally, and the largest opening for any for any Walt Disney Animation Studios release.

The original film and its world-making song “Let It Go” became a pop-culture phenomenon, earning $1.27 billion worldwide and selling countless Elsa and Anna dresses.

The sequel has more than showed that the six years since has brought no thaw. It has already earned $739 million globally and should certainly surpass the original’s totals.

“Disney is usually immune to the waning interest that audience have with some sequels,” Dergarabedian said.

“Knives Out,” the innovative whodunit from writer and director Rian Johnson, rode great reviews and strong social media buzz to a $27 million weekend and a five-day domestic total of $41.7 million that easily earned back its budget.

The film’s vast and eclectic cast included Ana de Armas, Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette and Chris Evans.

Johnson, the director of “Looper” and “The Last Jedi,” had been the target of some Twitter fanboy outrage for the direction he took the second episode in the newest “Star Wars” trilogy, whose final chapter opens next month.

The “Knives Out” opening showed his name value was unharmed and might even have been strengthened by the online noise, and its reception could mean awards season consideration for Johnson and the cast.

“First and foremost, this starts with Rian Johnson,” said David Spitz, president of domestic distribution for Lionsgate. “He wrote a screenplay we all loved and executed it to perfection.”

In response to the strong showing, Johnson on Sunday morning tweeted “Wow – THANKS to everyone who came to #KnivesOut this weekend, and for all the lovely tweets, you guys are the best.”

While put on the calendar to draw in adults while kids were watching and re-watching “Frozen 2,” “Knives Out” proved to be more than a niche picture.

“We set it with the counterprogramming expectation, this is a good adult dramedy,” Spitz said.

But, he said, it turned out younger audiences had even better reactions than older ones.

“It’s playing to everybody,” Spitz said.

While the weekend showed that there is nothing like a franchise to bring in blockbuster bucks, it also reflected that tentpoles aren’t the only means to attract audiences.

“When it comes to adult fare, it seems that audiences want more originality,” Dergarabedian said.

“Knives Out” also opened strong internationally with a weekend of $28.3 million.

The weekend’s other newcomer, “Queen & Slim,” finished down in fifth with $11.7 million, but with a limited number of screens and a modest reported budget of about $20 million, it was still a successful opening for the Bonnie-and-Clyde-meets-Black-Lives-Matter story.

“Ford v Ferrari” rolled along in its third weekend of release, finishing in third place with $13.2 million.

Tom Hanks’ Mister Rogers story “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” also hummed along in its second weekend, earning $11.8 million to put it fourth at the domestic box office.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Frozen 2,” $85.3 million ($163.8 million international).

2. “Knives Out,” $27 million ($28.3 million international).

3. “Ford v Ferrari,” $13.2 million ($10.2 million international).

4. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” $11.8 million.

5. “Queen & Slim,” $11.7 million.

6. “21 Bridges,” $5.8 million ($1.9 million international).

7. “Playing with Fire,” $4.2 million.

8. “Midway,” $4 million ($2.7 million international).

9. “Joker,” $2 million ($4.6 million international).

10. “Last Christmas,” $1.99 million ($8 million international).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake survey reports a 69% drop in jobs

Responses to Business Resiliency Survey show many unsure if they could last the next three months

Alberta house prices poised to plummet: CHMC

Worst-case scenario could see house prices drop 20 per cent

Central Alberta naturalists fear pristine headwaters west of Rocky will be contaminated by a coal strip mine

Chutes of the Ram constitute one of Earth’s ‘most beautiful’ spots

Generator shed next to Red Deer County offices catches fire

City of Red Deer Emergency Services lent a hand fighting fire

Kelowna, B.C., man charged with murder in Alberta killing

A second man is also wanted in connection with the first degree murder of Cody Michaloski

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Opinion: Fix the long-term care horror

There’s a long-term-care crisis in Canada that is crying out for short-term,… Continue reading

NWSL returning to play with summertime tournament in Utah

Pro soccer returns to the U.S. next month when the National Women’s… Continue reading

Hockey Canada cancels summer camps, going virtual with training camps

CALGARY — Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday that it has cancelled all… Continue reading

NASA chief “all in” for Tom Cruise to film on space station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA is rolling out the International Space Station’s… Continue reading

CTV drama ‘Cardinal’ leads Canadian Screen Awards TV pack with seven wins

TORONTO — Three shows that have left the air for good in… Continue reading

If an MP heckles in a virtual House of Commons, does it make a sound?

If an MP heckles in a virtual House of Commons, does it make a sound?

Most Read