November 30, 2013

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: The Holiday Goes On For “Catching Fire” and “Frozen”


Preliminary numbers at Deadline have the record pace continuing for both THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (Lionsgate) and FROZEN (Disney).

Catching Fire had no trouble with the all-time record for the day after Thanksgiving, doubling its holiday number to $31M on Friday.  This wasn’t just far better than the previous post-Thanksgiving Friday ($22.6M for Toy Story 2), it was also the best second Friday in history anywhere on the calendar, beating The Avengers and its $29.2M.  With $253M to date, Catching Fire is the #3 highest grosser after 8 days of release, behind only The Avengers ($299.2M) and The Dark Knight ($261.8M).  It’s now likely to pass $110M for the 5-day holiday weekend (another record), and hit $300M by Sunday, its 10th day of release.  With no significant competition arriving next weekend, the only question is how it will stand up to The Hobbit on December 13.

That would seem like enough to suck all the oxygen out of the market, but Frozen is doing just fine.  Percentage-wise, its Friday was even stronger than Catching Fire, up 130% to $25.8M, also breaking the previous post-Thanksgiving record.  It should hit $90M by Sunday, far above previous Disney Thanksgiving weekend blockbusters Toy Story 2 ($80.5M) and Tangled ($68.7M).  It will own the family market until Walking With Dinosaurs arrives on December 20.

A huge gap separated those two from anything else.  HOMEFRONT (Open Road) increased 70% on Friday for $2.3M and could have $9M by Sunday.  BLACK NATIVITY (Fox Searchlight) continues to score big increases on tiny numbers, up 135% on Friday to $1.6M, still going nowhere with $5M by Sunday.  The expanded THE BOOK THIEF (20th) had a 120% bump on Friday to $1.8M, and is heading for a $6M 5-day weekend.  At 835 theatres, PHILOMENA (Weinstein) jumped an impressive 175% on Friday, but that still only brought it to $1.2M and $4M in 5 days.

The top holdover was THOR: THE DARK WORLD (Disney), with $4M on Friday and $14M projected for the 5-day holiday.  THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY (Universal) had $3.4M on Friday (a 150% leap) and $12M for the holiday.  DELIVERY MAN (DreamWorks/Disney) managed $2.3M on Friday for a $9M 5-day weekend.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."