Box Office: ‘Catching Fire’ ices ‘Frozen’ on Wednesday

Global blockbuster “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” easily iced the competition on Wednesday as it continued to reign over the box office.  The Francis Lawrence directed flick pulled in another $20 million for a jaw-dropping $207 million in just 6 days.  That’s $25 million ahead of where “The Hunger Games” was at the same point in its run in 2012. Granted, that was during a traditionally less competitive Spring frame, but the continuing adventures of Katniss, Peeta and Gale may surpass its predecessor’s $408 million domestic gross when all is said and done.

Not to be outdone by “Catching Fire,” Walt Disney Studios received some excellent news with the $15.2 million opening day for “Frozen.”  Wednesday is usually a travel day for most Americans and “family” films tend do better there rest of the holiday weekend.  “Frozen” has already opened higher than studio stablemate “Tangled” did in 2010 ($11.8 million opening day) and should surpass that film’s $48.7 million five-day debut.  If word of mouth stays strong “Frozen” could earn $52-55 million over the holiday weekend.

Dropping to third is another Disney hit, Marvel Studios’ “Thor: The Dark World.”  The bloated sequel found another $2.3 million on Wednesday for $173.5 million.  $200 million seems out of reach, but the God of Thunder may come close to it with $190-195 million domestic.

Open Road Films’ “Homefront” found a weak $1.4 million.  With negative reviews and strong competition, this Jason Statham thriller will be hard pressed to gross over $10 million by Sunday.

“Delivery Man” rounded out the top five with another $1.3 million and $11 million to date.

Among other new openers, Fox Searchlight’s Thanksgiving got off to a worrisome start as “Black Nativity” found just $440,000 in 1,516 theaters.  The mini-major is going to have to hope its core African-American audience finds the holiday musical over the weekend.

“The Book Thief” and “Philomena” had good, but not great expansions.  The 20th Century Fox period drama jumped to 1,234 screens for another $725,000 or $588 per screen. It’s cume now stands at $2.1 million. Comparatively, The Weinstein Company’s awards hopeful increased its theater count to 751 and earned $377,000 or $501 per screen. The Judi Dench drama has $530,079 to date, but expects to fuel more interest as awards season rolls on.

Look for continuing box office results throughout the holiday frame on HitFix.