‘Frozen 2’ wins Thanksgiving box office, but ‘Knives Out,’ ‘Queen & Slim’ open strong
Disney’s “Frozen 2" dominated the box office once again in its second weekend, adding $123.7 million through the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, including $85.3 million Friday through Sunday (a small 35% drop), for a cumulative total of $287.6 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.
“This was the Thanksgiving box office bounty the industry was hoping for, and while not a record-breaker [overall], the holiday frame was strong enough to knock the YTD deficit down by 1.3% and get the momentum rolling,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore.
“Frozen 2" topped previous Thanksgiving weekend record-holder “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which earned about $110 million in 2013. “Frozen 2" crossed the domestic $200-million mark in near-record time and currently stands at $738.6 million in global ticket sales.
In second place, Lionsgate and MRC’s “Knives Out” opened Wednesday well ahead of expectations with a five-day debut of $41.7 million, including $27 million Friday through Sunday. It earned $28.3 million internationally for a global cumulative total of $70 million.
”Murder mysteries have always been enormously popular, but cinematically they had become fairly predictable and a little less interesting,” said Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. Director Rian Johnson “and our producing partners at MRC and T-Street did an extraordinary job of rekindling the genre and exciting moviegoers into action with an exceptionally entertaining film that delivered … fresh characters and a plot that has unpredictable twists and turns. We are off to a fantastic start and expect a very strong holiday multiple given the word of mouth on the movie.”
Written and directed by Johnson (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), the film is a comedic take on the murder mystery genre starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Katherine Langford, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Jaeden Martell and Don Johnson as members of a wealthy family whose patriarch (played by Christopher Plummer) dies unexpectedly. Lakeith Stanfield, Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas also star.
It was well-received with an A- CinemaScore and a 96% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
At No. 3, Fox’s “Ford v Ferrari” added a five-day haul of $19 million, with $13.2 million in its third weekend for a cumulative total of $81 million. Globally, the film has earned $143.3 million.
In fourth place, Sony’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” added $17.3 million over the five days, including $11.8 million in its second weekend (a tiny 11% drop) for a domestic cumulative total of $34.3 million.
Rounding out the top five, Universal and Makeready’s “Queen & Slim” opened Wednesday to $15.8 million through five days, including $11.7 million over the weekend.
Directed by Melina Matsoukas (“Insecure,” Beyoncé's “Formation” video) from a script by Lena Waithe, the film stars Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith as a couple on the run after an altercation with a police officer turns deadly. It is the feature debut for both Matsoukas and Waithe.
The film was well received with an A- CinemaScore and a 84% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
At No. 6, STX Entertainment’s “21 Bridges” added $5.8 million Friday through Sunday in its second weekend (a 37% drop) for a cumulative total of $20.5 million.
In seventh place, Paramount’s “Playing With Fire” added $4.2 million over three days in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $39.2 million.
At No. 8, Lionsgate’s “Midway” added $4 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $50.3 million.
In ninth place, Warner Bros.’ “Joker” added $2 million in its ninth weekend for a cumulative $330.6 million.
Rounding out the top 10, Universal’s “Last Christmas” added about $2 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $31.7 million.
In limited release, A24 expanded “Waves” in its third weekend to 47 locations (up from 21) with $193,430 through the five days (a per-screen average of $4,116), including $140,995 over the weekend (a per-screen average of $3,000), and a cumulative $557,747.
Focus Features’ “Dark Waters” added 90 theaters (up from four in its debut last weekend) with $860,000 through the five days (a per-screen average of $9,229), including $630,000 through the weekend (a per-screen average of $6,702), for a cumulative $977,000.
This week, the studio expands “Dark Waters” into wide release and STX Entertainment opens the animated comedy “Playmobil: The Movie.”
In limited release, Amazon releases the biopic “The Aeronauts,” Neon debuts the drama “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Magnolia Pictures reveals the sci-fi drama “Little Joe.”
Only good movies
Get the Indie Focus newsletter, Mark Olsen's weekly guide to the world of cinema.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.