Box Office: FROZEN II wins third consecutive weekend despite dismal post-Thansgiving

Welcome to the Beat’s Weekend Box Office Recap!

If there is anyone curious why there wasn’t a Box Office Preview this week, one just has to look at how dismal the traditionally bad post-Thanksgiving box office fared this weekend with most people back at the grindstone before the extended holiday break later this month.

There was little to no surprise that Disney’s Frozen II took its third weekend at #1 with an estimated $34.7 million, down 60% from its record-setting Thanksgiving weekend. The movie has taken in $338 million in North America alone, pushing past Warner Bros’ Joker to become Disney’s sixth movie in the domestic top 10 for the year.

Frozen II grossed another $90.2 million internationally this weekend, as the #1 movie in most countries, bringing its global total to $919.7 million. That’s right. Disney is eyeing its SIXTH billion dollar global blockbuster for the year, and that’s even before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in two weeks.

Rian Johnson‘s star-studded whodunnit comedy, Knives Out, dropped to second place with $14.1 million, down 46%, to take its domestic gross to $63.5 million, just shy of the $66.5 million made domestically by Johnson’s earlier sci-fi film, Looper. The popular movie might have a few difficult weeks ahead but could get a nice bump over the late December holidays if Lionsgate is able to keep it in theaters. Knives Out added another $81 million overseas for a global tally of $124 million, which is quite profitable for a movie budgeted at $40 million.

Third place went to 20th Century Fox’s racing thriller Ford v. Ferrari with $6.5 million, down 50%, as it edges its way to $100 million domestically with $91.1 million so far. As of now, it’s Fox’s biggest hit of the year since being bought by Disney. With another $8.3 million overseas including $3.3 million from its South Korean debut, James Mangold‘s movie has made $76.4 million from overseas markets and $167.6 million globally.

Ford v. Ferrari was also able to stay slightly ahead of Universal’s Queen and Slim, which also took in $6.5 million, a 45% drop from its Thanksgiving opening weekend. Based on Lena Waithe’s first feature film screenplay, the movie has grossed $27 million domestically so far.

A few months back, I was convinced that Sony/Tristar PIctures’ Mister Rogers film, A Beutiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks, would be a much more successful and popular hit, but it dropped 56% after Thanksgiving, with $5.2 million in fifth place and just $43 million in North America.

The only new movie to enter the top 10 was Todd Haynes‘ political thriller Dark Waters, starring Mark Ruffalo, which Focus Features expanded into 2,011 theaters on Friday for it to take in $4.1 million or $2,000 per theater. That isn’t bad for a specialty release that seems to be faring well among moviegoers (with an A- CinemaScore) boosted by solid reviews.

Everything else in the top 10 made $2.1 million or less but Warner Bros’ Joker managed to stay in the top 10 for a tenth weekend in a row with $332.1 million as the studio’s only billion dollar global hit in 2019.

There was a new wide release this weekend, STXfilms’ Playmobil: The Movie, which didn’t just do poorly but actually may hold the dubious honor of having one of the WORST OPENING WEEKENDS EVER. Considering how bad some movies fared this year, a movie  opening on its own in 2,337 theaters to not make any sort of headway is fairly pitiful.  Trying to capitalize on the huge success of Warner Bros. Animations’ LEGO-related movies, the animated movie based on the popular toys for tots even offered a $5 ticket deal for all showings. It ended up opening with just $670,000 theaters, which is less than $300 per theater. A showing like that means that there could have been a number of empty theaters showing the movie all weekend. This is STX’s second animated bomb this year after The UglyDolls Movie earlier this year, so the studio might steer away from that area.

This Week’s Top 10: 

Rank Last Week Rank Movie Studio Weekend Gross % Change Total Gross
1 1 Frozen 2 Walt Disney Pictures $34.7 million -60% $337.6 million
2 2 Knives Out Lionsgate $14.2 million -47% $63.5 million
3 3 Ford v. Ferrari 20th Century Fox $6.5 million -50% $91.1 million
4 4 Queen and Slim Universal $6.5 million -45% $26.9 million
5 5 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Sony/Tristar $5.2 million -56% $43.1 million
6 19 Dark Waters Focus Features $5.8 million +560% $5.3 million
7 6 21 Bridges Warner Bros. $2.9 million -48% $23.9 million
8 7 Playing with Fire Warner Bros. $2 million -53% $42 million
9 8 Midway Universal $1.9 million -51% $53.4 million
10 10 Joker Warner Bros. $1 million  -47% $332.1 million


Last year’s post-Thanksgiving weekend also only offered one movie in the horror film, The Possession of Hannah Grace (Sony/Screen Gems) which did far better than Playmobil: The Movie with only $6.4 million to open in seventh place behind all the returning movies that still allowed the top 10 to gross almost $25 million more than this weekend.

Next week’s Box Office Preview has a number of new and exciting releases, including Sony’s sequel Jumanji: The Next Level, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin HartClint Eastwood‘s new movie Richard Jewell; and the horror remake Black Christmas.