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Weekend Box Office: Frozen Tops Fire; Out of the Furnace Fizzles

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By Chris Kavan - 12/08/13 at 11:43 PM CT

It was a reversal from last weekend as the two top box office draws switched places a week after setting some Thanksgiving records. Families apparently preferred goofy snowmen and a princess tale over, you know, people killing each other in a dystopian future. Meanwhile, the Coen Brothers had their biggest opening ever in limited release, while a dour December crime drama was too dark to make many waves.


After playing second fiddle to Catching Fire, Frozen jumped into the top spot in its second weekend - and continued to set records in the process. Dropping 53%, Frozen enjoyed the biggest post-Thanksgiving weekend on record with $31.8 million, topping Toy Story 2 ($27.8 million) and giving the film a new total of $134.2 million. The film will easily pass its $150 million budget by next weekend and looks on pace for a $250 million or so total. With the family crowd firmly in its corner, and even with The Hobbit fast approaching, Frozen should have no problem sticking around the top five well through Christmas.


After two weeks atop the box office throne, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire had to settle for runner-up in its third weekend. Dropping a heftier-than-expected 64%, the sequel brought in $27 million and raised its total up to $336.67 million. Despite direct competition coming up, the film should be able to cross the $350 million mark by next weekend and is still on pace to close at over $400 million before it leaves theaters for good.


As the only new nationwide film, Out of the Furnace was given a lump of coal by audiences. At just $5.3 million it couldn't match up to last week's disappointing Homefront (which opened with $6.9 million) and also opened lower than last year's similarly themed Killing Them Softly ($6.8 million). It didn't matter that names like Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana and Casey Affleck were involved, as we've seen earlier in the year big names don't automatically spell big audiences (or grosses for that matter). But if they were hoping for some good word-of-mouth - it's also looking grim. At a C+ cinemascore, there isn't likely to be much there - and, with bigger and better films on the horizon, this should slip away quietly in a week or two. See you on Netflix, someday.


The superhero sequel served up another $4.7 million (down 57%), giving the film a new $193.64 million total. Thor will most likely hit the $200 million mark before December is out, though it's now looking like it will stall out quickly after reaching that mark. It may not be able to pass any of the Iron Man film domestically, but in terms of global scale, it will be third all-time (for the Marvel franchise) and bodes well for future superhero installments.


After just a so-so opening, the good-natured Vince Vaughn comedy jumps back in to the top five. The film took in $3.7 million and now stands at $24.8 million. While the film isn't likely to make Vaughn cheer, at least it will match its $26 million budget - though it is likely going to stall somewhere around $30 million or so - but at least it must be getting some good buzz to make this limited comeback.

Outside the top five: The Coen Brothers do have something to be cheerful about - Inside Llewyn Davis only had four theaters over the weekend, but it brought in $401,000 - that translates to an incredible $100,250-per-theater average. It topped the likes of The King's Speech ($88,863) and The Fighter ($75,003) in that regard. In fact, it ranks as the 18th-highest all time ( and 8th highest when you eliminate Disney's animated show-stoppers). Whether or not that translates beyond the art house crowd is yet to be seen - but the movie will enjoy a big expansion on December 20th before going nationwide in January of next year. A total in the $20 million range is likely.

Down in 15th place, Bad Grandpa just managed to cross the $100 million mark with $855,000 bringing its total up to $100.06 million. For those keeping track, that is the 6th R-rated comedy of 2013 to cross the mark - making it one of the better years for adult-oriented laughs in memory.

Next weekend all eyes will be on Peter Jackson as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits - and if early reviews are to be believed, this on flows much better than the first film (which, I admit, did tend to drag) so hopefully Middle Earth is going to be back on the right track. For a nice bit of counter-programming, Tyler Perry also give us A Madea Christmas - we'll see if it ends up more like Best Man Holiday or follows the disappointing returns of Black Nativity.


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