With no major new titles debuting over the typically-slow first full weekend of December – when prospective moviegoers are more consumed by holiday shopping than taking a trip to the multiplex – Frozen 2 easily slid into first place for the third weekend in a row with an estimated $34.7 million, while fellow holdovers Knives Out, Ford v. Ferrari and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood continued performing well. Elsewhere, Dark Waters had a so-so wide expansion while Playmobil: The Movie couldn’t even manage a Top 10 finish.
Frozen 2 came back to earth after two successive frames of record-breaking grosses, down 59% from its hefty $85.9 million three-day tally last weekend. That drop compares favorably with previous Thanksgiving weekend record-holder The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — which dipped 65% over the same weekend in 2013 — though it’s slightly high relative to other animated titles coming off big Thanksgiving weekends. For comparison’s sake, the first Frozen dropped 53% over the same weekend in 2013, while 2016’s Moana fell 50% and Ralph Breaks the Internet had a 54% drop. Whatever the case, the total for the Disney sequel now stands at a powerful $337.6 million after just 17 days of release.
Second-place finisher Knives Out also held well, dropping 47% to an estimated $14.1 million in its sophomore frame. The critically acclaimed Rian Johnson-directed murder mystery has enjoyed strong word of mouth and now has $63.4 million in the bank after just 12 days of release.
After debuting to a solid $11.8 million in just 1,690 locations over the three-day period last weekend (it added a few more in its sophomore frame), Universal’s Queen & Slim dropped 45% to an estimated $6.53 million in third place, lifting its total to a strong $26.8 million.
Finishing in fourth was Fox’s Ford v. Ferrari (released by Disney) which actually added 300 locations this weekend, its fourth in release. With another $6.5 million, the crowd-pleasing Matt Damon-Christian Bale sports drama now has an excellent $91.1 million in the bank and will soon pass the $100 million mark. Including $76.5 million overseas, the worldwide total for the film is now $167.6 million, with a Chinese release still on the horizon.
Just behind it in fifth place was Sony’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which took in an estimated $5.2 million this weekend. The total for the acclaimed Mister Rogers drama now stands at $43.1 million.
Dark Waters finished in sixth place in its wide expansion after two weekends of limited release, bringing in an estimated $4.1 million from just over 2,000 locations. That’s an okay result for the fact-based drama, which stars Mark Ruffalo as an attorney battling the chemical company DuPont over its history of environmental pollution. With so many popular adult-oriented holdovers to contend with, this one had trouble breaking through the noise despite garnering positive reviews and a solid A- Cinemascore. The total for the Focus release is $5.3 million to date.
Seventh place went to STX’s 21 Bridges, which brought in an estimated $2.8 million in its third weekend of release for a total of $24 million to date. Behind it in eighth was Paramount’s Playing With Fire, which cleared an estimated $2 million in its fifth weekend for a tally of $41.9 million to date.
Two more holdovers, Lionsgate’s Midway and Warner Bros.’ Joker, rounded out the Top 10 with an estimated $1.9 million and $1.04 million in their fifth and tenth weekends, respectively. The WWII drama now has $53.4 million to date, while the comic-book thriller has brought in $332.1 million.
Finishing outside the Top 10 was the STX-released Playmobil: The Movie, which stumbled in its opening frame with an estimated $669K in 2,337 locations. Predicted to debut in the low-to-mid single-digit millions heading into the weekend, STX’s experiment with a value pricing strategy (exhibitors offer bargain ticket prices for the film throughout the weekend) and a low marketing spend that relied mainly on in-theater advertising and promotion through exhibitor loyalty programs resulted in a much lower tally than anticipated. Indeed, the film’s per-location average of $285 makes it the third-worst opening ever for a movie debuting on over 2,000 screens. STX claims the P&A spend on the film was just $3 million, making it a low-risk investment for the studio.
Notably, the poorly-reviewed animated title was originally slated for release by Global Road in October 2017 but was placed in limbo due to the distributor’s financial issues. Its future was further jeopardized when the company filed for bankruptcy the following year, leaving STX to pick up domestic rights following a months-long international run for the film that has seen it take in just over $12 million overseas.
Also finishing outside the Top 10 was A24’s Waves, which brought in just $421K in its expansion to 570 theaters. The total for the well-reviewed independent drama stands at $1.04 million.
Frozen 2 took in an estimated $90.2 million from 48 overseas territories, bringing its international cume to $582.1 million and its worldwide total to $919.7 million. That puts it on the cusp of the all-important $1 billion global mark, which it should surpass by next weekend. Top-grossing markets to date include $104.4 million in China, $75.5 million in Korea, $55 million in Japan, $43.1 million in the U.K. and $34.4 million in Germany.
Notably, Disney’s releases this year now boast a total of $9.997 billion globally, putting the studio just a day or so away from crossing $10 billion worldwide for the year. Including Fox titles, the studio is now at $11.94 billion for 2019. Those are absolutely huge numbers when you consider that the previous record for worldwide box office was $7.6 billion, a total reached by Disney in 2016.
Lionsgate’s Knives Out brought in an estimated $18.7 million from 68 overseas markets, bringing its international total to $60.6 million and its global tally to a fantastic $124.1 million. The film’s total in China is $23.6 million to date. Major markets left to open include Brazil (12/12), Germany (1/2/20) and Japan (1/31/20).
Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, DEC. 6 – SUN, DEC. 8
|3||Ford v. Ferrari||$6,537,000||-50%||3,746||300||$1,745||$91,110,353||4||20th Century Fox|
|4||Queen & Slim||$6,530,000||-45%||1,715||25||$3,808||$26,894,005||2||Universal Pictures|
|5||A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood||$5,200,000||-56%||3,491||256||$1,490||$43,120,415||3||Sony Pictures|
|6||Dark Waters||$4,100,000||560%||2,011||1917||$2,039||$5,284,749||3||Focus Features|
|7||21 Bridges||$2,880,000||-48%||2,465||-200||$1,168||$23,932,696||3||STX Entertainment|
|8||Playing with Fire||$2,000,000||-53%||2,253||-426||$888||$41,982,325||5||Paramount Pictures|
|10||Last Christmas||$1,010,000||-50%||1,262||-590||$800||$33,447,175||5||Universal Pictures|
|12||Playmobil: The Movie||$660,000||—||2,337||—||$282||$660,000||1||STX Entertainment|
|3||Jojo Rabbit||$562,000||-54%||579||-129||$971||$19,296,823||8||Fox Searchlight|
|4||The Good Liar||$490,000||-69%||787||-1216||$623||$16,146,751||4||Warner Bros.|
|5||Maleficent: Mistress of Evil||$467,000||-65%||728||-263||$641||$112,305,846||8||Disney|
|6||Honey Boy||$452,439||23%||460||274||$984||$2,139,465||5||Amazon Studios|
|8||Terminator: Dark Fate||$305,000||-65%||431||-351||$708||$61,775,666||6||Paramount|
|9||No Safe Spaces||$292,632||6174%||200||192||$1,463||$748,413||7||Atlas Distribution|
|11||En Brazos de un Asesino||$230,000||—||160||—||$1,438||$230,000||1||Lionsgate / Pantelion Films|
|12||Charlie’s Angels||$216,000||-83%||703||-2453||$307||$17,505,006||4||Sony Pictures|
|15||Downton Abbey||$46,000||-43%||117||-26||$393||$96,777,350||12||Focus Features|
|2||Portrait of a Lady on Fire||$67,105||—||2||—||$33,553||$67,105||1||NEON|
|3||Pain and Glory||$57,317||-45%||78||-74||$735||$3,607,595||10||Sony Pictures Classics|
|5||Ad Astra||$10,000||-36%||33||15||$303||$50,188,350||12||20th Century Fox|
|6||When Lambs Become Lions||$3,835||—||2||—||$1,918||$7,160||3||Oscilloscope Laboratories|
|8||Shooting the Mafia||$1,107||-52%||2||-1||$554||$9,988||3||Cohen Media Group|