Box Office: ‘Frozen 2’ Dominates Thanksgiving Day, ‘Knives’ Sharp

Dave McNary

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Frozen 2” is generating plenty of heat at the North American box office, with more than $200 million its first week.

Disney’s animated sequel earned $14.7 million at 4,440 locations on Thursday, just short of the Thanksgiving Day record set in 2013 by “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” “Frozen 2” is tracking to wind up the five-day holiday period with a record-setting $135 million, $25 million more than “Catching Fire.”

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Lionsgate’s mystery comedy “Knives Out” is showing plenty of pull at multiplexes with $6.2 million on Thanksgiving. That portends an estimate of as much as $45 million for the five-day holiday at 3,391 sites — doubling pre-release forecasts of $20 million to $25 million — while the studio has increased its number to $39 million.

Directed by Rian Johnson, “Knives Out” centers on a crime novelist (played by Christopher Plummer) who is murdered just after his 85th birthday party. The film, produced by Lionsgate, MRC and T-Street for about $40 million, received an A- Cinemascore and a 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The star-laden cast includes Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette and LaKeith Stanfield.

A pair of holdovers are battling for third place with Sony’s second session of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” in the $21 million range at 3,325 locations for the five days, followed by Disney-Fox’s “Ford v Ferrari” at $20 million at 3,585 venues. “Ford v Ferrari” will wind up the holiday weekend with around $82 million in its first 17 days.

Universal’s romantic drama “Queen & Slim,” starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith, took in $2.4 million on Thanksgiving Day at 1,690 sites and is heading for about $15 million  for the five days. The film, produced by Makeready and Bron Creative, carries an A- Cinemascore. Melina Matsoukas, the filmmaker behind Beyonce’s “Formation” music video, directed from Lena Waithe’s script.

“Frozen 2” has stopped what had been a steep decline during November, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore. As of Wednesday, the overall 2019 North American total was $9.99 billion, trailing 2018 by 7% or about $740 million at the same point.

“The power of one movie to turn the box-office tide is in evidence as ‘Frozen 2’ swoops into a super sleepy November marketplace,” he added. “The industry was hoping it would arrive like the cavalry to create momentum that the marketplace has desperately needed for these past many weeks. We are on our way to a fantastic Thanksgiving frame at the multiplex.”

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