The November slump is officially over.
Disney’s Frozen 2 debuted to an estimated $127 million over the weekend, shattering the November opening record for an animated title — previously held by The Incredibles, which debuted with $70.4 million way back in 2004 — as well as notching the highest-ever opening for a Walt Disney Animation Studios title (not including Pixar) and the third-highest animated opening of all time ahead of 2007’s Shrek the Third ($121.6 million) and behind 2016’s Finding Dory ($135 million). Elsewhere, Sony’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood enjoyed a reasonably healthy start while STX’s 21 Bridges fell on the lower end of expectations for the weekend.
Debuting in an ultra-wide 4,400 locations, Frozen 2 more than lived up to the hype with this weekend’s outstanding debut after racking up record Fandango pre-sales for an animated title heading into the pre-Thanksgiving frame. In fact, it’s the first animated movie ever to open north of $100 million outside of the summer moviegoing season. Even when compared with live-action blockbusters — which tend to be far more front-loaded than animated releases — Frozen 2 holds its own, registering the 23rd highest opening of all time among both animated and live-action titles. It’s also, notably, the highest opening weekend ever for an animated title in IMAX, bringing in an estimated $18 million in the format worldwide.
It’s worth noting that there were some questions heading into the weekend whether the young girls who turned out for the first Frozen in droves back in 2013 have aged out of the core demo for the sequel — thereby muting its box office potential relative to expectations — but this weekend’s huge number effectively counteracts any lingering doubts. Whether holds will be as strong for the follow-up as it was for the original — which ultimately grossed over four times its $93.5 million debut over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend — remains to be seen. Indeed, the first film had the benefit of the massive “Let It Go” phenomenon driving repeat business. Certainly, Frozen 2’s generally positive reviews (it’s at 75% on Rotten Tomatoes), A- Cinemascore and 94% Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score point to a reasonably leggy run through the rest of the holiday season.
After roaring to a strong $31.4 million first-place finish last weekend, Fox’s Ford v. Ferrari (released by Disney) fell to second with an estimated $16 million, a drop of 49% from its debut. That dip is exaggerated somewhat by the film’s loss of PLF and IMAX screens to Frozen 2 this weekend, but all in all the performance of the male-oriented sports drama has been solid. After ten days of release, the total for the Matt Damon-Christian Bale vehicle stands at a healthy $58 million.
Debuting in third place with an estimated $13.5 million from 3,235 locations was A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the drama centering around children’s TV icon Mr. Rogers. While certainly not a flashy number, the opening was about in line with the studio’s $14 million prediction heading into the weekend. The $25 million film benefitted from hugely-positive reviews (it’s at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes) and the enduring popularity of star Tom Hanks, whose casting as the revered TV host also savvily plays into Hanks’ public persona. With its family-friendly themes and PG rating it’s the kind of release that tends to flourish during the holiday season, so look for A Beautiful Day to hold up well in the weeks ahead. Also encouraging is the film’s “A” Cinemascore and Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 93% from over 900 ratings. The groundwork for the film may have been laid by last year’s hit documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which revived interest in Rogers 15 years after his death.
Fourth place went to the weekend’s third wide opener 21 Bridges, which took in an estimated $9.2 million from 2,665 locations. The STX action-thriller featuring Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman may have suffered some from the continuing strength of holdover Ford v. Ferrari, which also holds strong appeal with adult males. Reviews for the film were on the negative side (it’s at 45% on Rotten Tomatoes), though opening day audiences awarded it a B+ Cinemascore and it has a 90% RT Audience Score from just over 1,000 ratings. It’s easy to envision this one having performed better in a quieter, less-competitive release period.
In fifth, Lionsgate’s Midway took in an estimated $4.7 million, giving the WWII flick $43.1 million through the end of its third weekend. Closely behind it in sixth place was Paramount’s family comedy Playing With Fire, which dipped 44% to an estimated $4.6 million in its third weekend for a total of $31.6 million to date.
After a mild opening last weekend, adult-driven thriller The Good Liar fell to seventh place with an estimated $3.3 million, a drop of 40%. The Helen Mirren-Ian McKellen vehicle now has a total of $11.7 million after ten days.
Suffering the worst drop in the Top 10 by far was Sony’s Charlie’s Angels, which crumbled 62% to an estimated $3.1 million in its sophomore frame. The total for the action reboot now stands at an extremely disappointing $13.9 million.
Rounding out the Top 10, the holiday-themed rom-com Last Christmas finished in ninth place with an estimated $3 million for a total of $27.7 million through the end of its third weekend, while in tenth, Joker grossed an estimated $2.8 million in its eighth weekend for a total of $326.9 million in North America through Sunday.
Lionsgate previewed the star-studded, darkly comedic murder mystery Knives Out on Friday and Saturday evening in 936 locations and brought in an estimated $2.03 million. The film opens in over 3,300 locations on Wednesday.
Focus Features opened Dark Waters in 4 locations this weekend and came up with $110K, giving the film a per-screen average of $27.5K. The critically-acclaimed thriller directed by Todd Haynes stars Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway and Tim Robbins.
Frozen 2 debuted to an enormous $223.2 million in 37 overseas markets this weekend, giving it the highest international opening ever for an animated film, breaking the previous record set by Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($152 million). This weekend’s overseas debut included a superb $53 million in China, where it boasted the third-highest opening ever for an animated title. Its $350 million global opening also included $31.5 million in Korea, $18.2 million in Japan, $17.8 million in the U.K., $14.9 million in Germany and $13.4 million in France.
Ford v. Ferrari added $14.7 million to its international total this weekend for an overseas cume of $45.8 million and a worldwide haul of $103.8 million.
Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, NOV. 22 – SUN, NOV. 24
|2||Ford v. Ferrari||$16,000,000||-49%||3,528||0||$4,535||$57,989,570||2||20th Century Fox|
|3||A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood||$13,500,000||—||3,235||—||$4,173||$13,500,000||1||Sony Pictures|
|4||21 Bridges||$9,200,000||—||2,665||—||$3,452||$9,200,000||1||STX Entertainment|
|6||Playing with Fire||$4,615,000||-45%||2,760||-425||$1,672||$31,621,647||3||Paramount Pictures|
|7||The Good Liar||$3,375,000||-40%||2,454||15||$1,375||$11,765,794||2||Warner Bros.|
|8||Charlie’s Angels||$3,175,000||-62%||3,452||0||$920||$13,940,592||2||Sony Pictures|
|9||Last Christmas||$3,040,000||-53%||2,411||-1043||$1,261||$27,792,390||3||Universal Pictures|
|12||Maleficent: Mistress of Evil||$2,000,000||-59%||1,605||-944||$1,246||$108,923,058||6||Disney|
|13||Doctor Sleep||$1,860,000||-69%||1,476||-2379||$1,260||$28,776,742||3||Warner Bros.|
|14||Terminator: Dark Fate||$1,200,000||-72%||1,022||-1455||$1,174||$59,531,297||4||Paramount|
|1||Jojo Rabbit||$1,500,000||-46%||787||-208||$1,906||$16,052,713||6||Fox Searchlight|
|3||Zombieland: Double Tap||$550,000||-72%||455||-952||$1,209||$71,551,211||6||Sony Pictures|
|4||Black and Blue||$310,000||-66%||257||-301||$1,206||$21,384,957||5||Sony / Screen Gems|
|8||Pain and Glory||$135,279||-36%||217||-9||$623||$3,320,813||8||Sony Pictures Classics|
|9||Downton Abbey||$121,000||-60%||159||-144||$761||$96,547,430||10||Focus Features|
|10||Gemini Man||$66,000||-43%||108||-68||$611||$48,419,438||7||Paramount Pictures|
|11||Arctic Dogs||$50,000||-75%||195||-161||$256||$5,584,926||4||Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures|
|1||Honey Boy||$269,280||32%||44||27||$6,120||$939,677||3||Amazon Studios|
|3||Dark Waters||$110,000||—||4||—||$27,500||$110,000||1||Focus Features|
|4||Jay & Silent Bob Reboot||$64,688||-63%||5||-5||$12,938||$2,762,773||6||Fathom Events / Saban Films|
|5||Judy||$35,300||-66%||58||-65||$609||$23,844,489||9||Roadside Attractions / LD Entertainment|
|6||The Lion King||$31,000||-46%||87||-29||$356||$543,599,085||19||Walt Disney Pictures|
|7||Ad Astra||$28,000||-35%||50||-28||$560||$50,139,119||10||20th Century Fox|
|8||Everybody’s Everything||$19,169||-68%||19||-10||$1,009||$505,175||2||Gunpowder & Sky|
|9||The Peanut Butter Falcon||$18,020||-38%||39||-26||$462||$20,413,578||16||Roadside Attractions|
|10||Toy Story 4||$18,000||-40%||48||-22||$375||$434,011,992||23||Disney|
|11||Varda by Agnes||$12,644||—||2||—||$6,322||$12,644||1||Janus Films|
|12||The Current War||$10,380||-77%||35||-108||$297||$5,915,742||5||101 Studios|
|13||Citizen K||$10,250||—||1||—||$10,250||$10,250||1||Greenwich Entertainment|
|14||Mickey and the Bear||$8,010||-15%||4||3||$2,003||$19,245||2||Utopia|
|15||The Kingmaker||$7,500||-45%||7||-1||$1,071||$56,135||3||Greenwich Entertainment|
|16||When Lambs Become Lions||$3,155||—||1||—||$3,155||$3,155||1||Oscilloscope Laboratories|
|17||Shooting the Mafia||$3,095||—||1||—||$3,095||$3,095||1||Cohen Media Group|
|19||Immortal Hero||$1,305||-45%||5||0||$261||$42,240||6||Freestyle Releasing|