It will come as a surprise to no one that the latest Disney animated offering, Frozen 2, took commanding control of the box office ahead of the Thanksgiving Day weekend. That it would do well was a given. How well would it do was the question. The answer is very well. It looks poised to end the weekend with around $127 stateside, which makes it the biggest opening weekend in November ever for an animated film, surpassing 2004’s The Incredibles, which opened with $70 million. The original Frozen, meanwhile, opened in November of 2013 with $67 million, so the sequel will come close to doubling those numbers. In fact, the debut of Frozen 2 is the third biggest opening ever for an animated film. It also looks like Frozen 2 will debut with a whopping $350 million worldwide in its first three days.
It would be easy enough to attribute the windfall to solid reviews (75 percent on Cinemascore) or the overwhelmingly positive audience reception (75 percent on RT’s audience meter), but it’s mostly because this is not only a Disney animated film, but the sequel to the biggest Disney animated film of all time at the box office (the original scored $400 million domestic and $1.2 billion worldwide). The fact that the Cinemascore dropped from an A+ for the original to an A- for the sequel is not going to hurt it much over the long haul, either. Frozen 2 is likely going to tear up the box office over the Thanksgiving holiday and well into December.
Thanksgiving should also give a nice boost to Tom Hanks’ A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The film debuted with around $13.5 million on a modest $25 million budget, but expect this one to have a lot of legs over the holidays. It’s Tom Hanks, it’s Mr. Rogers, and it’s a feel-good movie, so families will continue pouring out to this one over the next month. Here, it was just a matter of watching Frozen 2 first before trekking out to see Tom Hanks, but expect Neighborhood to have a solid multiplier over the next few weeks. Likewise, Ford v. Ferrari, which finished in first place last weekend, held the two spot this weekend with a small edge over Neighborhood with $15.7 million and $57 million overall. Expect it to play well over the holiday, as well, as it makes a run toward $100 million domestic.
Chadwick Boseman’s 21 Bridges is looking at a $9.2 million opening, which is fine for a modestly budgeted cop thriller featuring, weirdly, a fifth-billed Taylor Kitsch. Reviews for the STX Film were middling (45 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences liked it well enough to give it a B+ Cinemascore.
Holdovers accounted for the rest of the top ten, although there wasn’t much left to spend after Frozen 2. Midway took the five spot, earning $4.8 million to bring its total to $43 million after three weeks. The family film Playing With Fire must have absorbed all of those moviegoers who were sold out of Frozen 2, as it earned $4.7 million to bring its total to $31 million. The older demographic showed up for The Good Liar, which dropped only 38 percent from last weekend to earn $3.6 million and $12 million overall.
Charlie’s Angels, on the other hand, saw a massive 61 percent dip, as it only eked out $3.27 million despite still being in 3500 theaters. It’s earned only $14 million after 10 days. It’s not doing any better overseas, either. Last Christmas earned $3 million in its third weekend to bring its total to $27 million. Joker, meanwhile, closes out the top ten with $2.8 million this weekend and over a $1 billion worldwide now.
It’s worth noting the absence of two films in the top ten: Terminator: Dark Fate and Doctor Sleep have already slipped out.
Let this sink in.
ANGEL HAS FALLEN ($69M) will gross more domestically than TERMINATOR: DARK FATE ($59M).
A truly epic fail.
— Exhibitor Relations Co. (@ERCboxoffice) November 24, 2019
Next weekend, expect Frozen 2 to dominate again, while Ford v. Ferrari and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood duke it out with Rian Johnson’s new entry, Knives Out, as well as Queen and Slim starring Jodie Turner-Smith., Daniel Kaluuya, and Bokeem Woodbine (from Fargo!). I should also note that Knives Out had special word-of-mouth screenings at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and made a killer $2 million in 936 theaters, which is nearly as much as Charlie’s Angels made in 3500 theaters playing 5 times a day all weekend.