Welcome to the Box Office Report, where we've decided that Disney movies can only be improved by the opportunity to awkwardly sit next to your parents as you watch Matthew McConaughey enjoy a rodeo stall threesome.
1. Frozen (Buena Vista): $31.6 million in 3,742 theaters.
By overtaking The Hunger Games sequel, ice proves that it can triumph over fire. Everything I've learned from Pokemon has been a complete lie.
It's a typically slow weekend for movies, what with the Christmas shopping, the Thanksgiving hangover and the Oscar-buzzy movies on the horizon, but the $31.6 million the movie posted is the highest post-Thanksgiving gross since 1999's Toy Story 2, which I have always maintained was the best of the first two Toy Story movies, because Woody and Buzz are already friends, and I hate conflict.
The winsome animated musical's success is particularly remarkable because it was so unacceptably frigid across the United States this weekend, and the last thing I'd want to be surrounded by in the cold are visual representations of cold, even if it's all totally adorable. Also, the 3-D story of a queen who accidentally traps her kingdom in an eternal winter hits a little close to home, because if it's not sorcery how else could it snow in California.
2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate): $27 million in 4,136 theaters.
After two weekends where movies fought J-Law, and J-Law won, Katniss Everdeen gives up her perch by falling to number two. There is some concern that the franchise is flagging too early – Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 held down its number one slot in its third weekend, which also happened to be post-Thanksgiving. But chances are Jennifer Lawrence will just do something charming and we'll all swoon our way back into rooting for her incredibly badass character.
3. Out of the Furnace (Relativity): $5.3 million in 2,101 theaters.
This Leonardo DiCaprio-produced drama written by the man who gave the world Crazy Heart stars Christian Bale as Russell Baze, a blue-collar steel worker with a hardscrabble life who also shares nearly all the letters of Christian Bale's last name. It was the only new release this weekend, meaning this meagre showing landed with a fairly big thud. It was, according to THR, the worst opening for a Bale film that debuted in more than 2,000 theaters. Time will tell if the movie survives the fire promised in the second half of the well-known adage.
4. Thor: The Dark World (Buena Vista): $4.7 million in 3,074 theaters.
The Marvel Comics film proves it's no flash in the pan (get it? Because he's the god of thunder and lightning) by continuing its steady march to the $200-million benchmark in this, its fifth weekend in theaters.
5. Delivery Man (Buena Vistaa): $3.8 million in 2,905 theaters.
Delivery Man, where Vince Vaughn challenges himself by playing his millionth likeable schlub, rallied from one of the worst opening weekends since 1982 to stay steady. In fact, on this slow weekend, it enjoyed the smallest dip in gross percentage of any of the top six grossing movies.
But the story that film insiders are talking about coming out of the weekend was the limited release of Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis, which premiered to just four screens and earned a whopping $100,250 each, which is the eighth highest all-time mark for a live-action film. We'll keep an eye on it as it proceeds to nationwide release in January, but as is tradition with the Coen brothers, it's getting a lot of hype.
(Edit: Weekend gross for Hunger Games fixed to $27 million.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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