Saturday Update: Disney’s Frozen II is off to an excellent start in its domestic debut as the studio reports the highly anticipated sequel earned $41.8 million on opening day Friday, inclusive of Thursday’s $8.5 million preview earnings. Current projections stand at an estimated $115 – 130 million weekend debut from North America alone. That would shatter the standing animated record for a November release, held by 2004’s The Incredibles ($70.5 million).
Frozen II‘s opening day stands as the highest ever for an animated release in the month of November, also besting The Incredibles which earned $20.5 million on opening day 15 years ago. As mentioned previously, the caveats are numerous here as very few Disney titles have opted for a traditional Friday release in release years — typically bowing on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Likewise, any comparisons to larger opening days by films like Toy Story 4, The Incredibles 2, and so forth aren’t valuable given their midsummer releases when kids are out of school. Frozen II remains poised to play strongly in matinee business this weekend and throughout next week as the Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas corridor arrive. While some bullish models had suggested a higher starting frame to be possible, this ultimately lines up with our general expectations and should be viewed as nothing but an excellent foundation for a blockbuster run ahead.
Frozen II Overseas Update
Disney also updates this morning with a confirmed $57.8 million overseas start through Friday’s end of business, bringing the global cume to $99.6 million entering Saturday.
The above figure includes an estimated $11 million opening day in China, and excludes a flash estimate of $24 million for the film’s second day of play there.
Domestic Openers and Holdovers
Back stateside, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood took the runner-up position with $4.545 million in its debut yesterday, including Thursday previews. The strongly reviewed crowd-pleaser is pacing to leg out over the holidays as the studio estimates a $14.1 million opening weekend, setting the stage for what should be one of the more steadily attended films of the season between now and the new year.
Ford v Ferrari eased 59 percent from opening day last week to $4.5 million yesterday, a deceivingly sharp drop that’s mostly a byproduct of its losing IMAX and PLF screens (where FvF performed very well last weekend) to Frozen II. Current estimates for the sophomore frame stand around $16 million.
Meanwhile, 21 Bridges opened to $3.33 million from Thursday night and Friday shows. Opening weekend should land around $9 million.
Estimates chart below (straggling updates to come this morning). Studio estimates to follow on Sunday, followed by actuals on Monday.
Early 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||$14,100,000||—||3,235||—||$4,359||$14,100,000||6||Sony Pictures|
|4||21 Bridges||$9,100,000||—||2,665||—||$3,415||$9,100,000||1||STX Entertainment|
|6||Playing with Fire||$4,800,000||-42%||2,760||-425||$1,739||$31,806,647||3||Paramount Pictures|
|7||The Good Liar||$3,600,000||-36%||2,454||15||$1,467||$11,990,794||2||Warner Bros.|
|8||Charlie’s Angels||$3,400,000||-59%||3,452||0||$985||$14,165,592||2||Sony Pictures|
|9||Last Christmas||$3,400,000||-48%||2,411||-1043||$1,410||$28,152,390||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||$1,900,000||-68%||1,476||-2379||$1,287||$28,816,742||3||Warner Bros.|
|1||Jojo Rabbit||$1,500,000||-46%||787||-208||$1,906||$16,052,713||6||Fox Searchlight|
|3||Zombieland: Double Tap||$520,000||-73%||455||-952||$1,143||$71,521,211||6||Sony Pictures|
|4||Black and Blue||$315,000||-66%||257||-301||$1,226||$21,389,957||5||Sony / Screen Gems|
|6||Downton Abbey||$130,000||-57%||159||-144||$818||$96,556,430||10||Focus Features|
|7||Arctic Dogs||$70,000||-65%||195||-161||$359||$5,604,926||4||Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures|
|8||Gemini Man||$60,000||-48%||108||-68||$556||$48,413,438||7||Paramount Pictures|
|1||Dark Waters||$100,000||—||4||—||$25,000||$100,000||1||Focus Features|
|2||The Lion King||$35,000||-39%||87||-29||$402||$543,603,085||19||Walt Disney Pictures|
|3||Ad Astra||$30,000||-30%||50||-28||$600||$50,141,119||10||20th Century Fox|
|4||Toy Story 4||$18,000||-40%||48||-22||$375||$434,011,992||23||Disney|
|5||Immortal Hero||$1,300||-45%||5||0||$260||$42,235||6||Freestyle Releasing|
Friday Update: Disney reports this morning that Frozen II is off to a strong start with an estimated $8.5 million earned from Thursday night’s domestic previews. That marks a new high for an animated film released in November (by significant margins), while coming in just behind the $9.2 million of Finding Dory in summer 2016 and ahead of Aladdin ($7.0 million) earlier this year.
Comparisons for Thursday night’s turnout aren’t very useful, ultimately, for an animated film simply because there haven’t been many sequels from the medium as anticipated as this one. Likewise, comparing to the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and Twilight franchises — whose pre-Friday starts in the month were significantly higher — proves even more futile (as discussed in the forecast earlier this week).
Globally, Frozen II has earned $18.6 million from 26 markets since Wednesday, opening in first place across all territories. The sequel delivered the highest opening day ever for an animated title in Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, Philippines, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
Disney adds, “Key markets that have opened to date are Korea, France, and Germany; the opening day in France was the highest Disney Animation opening day of all-time, while Germany posted the 3rd highest animated opening day of all-time. Frozen 2 has also posted the 2nd highest animated opening day of all-time in Belgium and the 3rd highest animated opening day of all-time in Netherlands, Singapore, and Thailand. “
Frozen II opens in another 10 countries on Friday, including China, Japan, Mexico, UK, and Spain. The studio notes a very early estimate for China’s opening day pointing to $11.4 million, which would make it the top opening day in Chinese history for a Disney animation release, including all Pixar titles.
Back on the domestic front, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood scored a very respectable $900K from shows beginning at 4:30pm in 2,865 theaters yesterday. That registers just behind the $1.1 million start of First Man, while ahead of Wonder‘s $740K and Bridge of Spies‘ $500K.
Meanwhile, 21 Bridges earned $700K in its Thursday night start, just ahead of Black and Blue‘s $675K a few weeks ago and last year’s Widows ($600K).
More updates throughout the weekend.