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411 Box Office Report: Frozen II Reigns Supreme With $127 Million, Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Starts Well

November 24, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Frozen II

As expected, there was a cold snap at the box office as Frozen II blew the competition away for the #1 spot. The animated Disney sequel opened with $127 million, on the high end of expectations, to win the box office frame with ease. That makes for the fifth-best November opening of all time. The first Frozen didn’t open on Friday, instead going wide the day before Thanksgiving, and notched $93.9 million over five days so this is an unquestionable improvement over the first film’s start.

With all the superhero movies out of the way already, Frozen II was one of the big three wo in terms of anticipated blockbusters coming into the holiday season (the others being Jumanji: The Next Level and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker). While it’s been a good six years since the first film’s release, kids are STILL singing “Let It Go” and demand for the sequel was high. It delivered in a big way, giving Disney another in in a year that’s been chock full of them for the studio. While the critical reaction has been a touch lower than the first film, it’s still carrying a solid 75% aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score has been strong too, though again not at the first film’s level with an A- CinemaScore compared to Frozen’s A+.

The slightly lower scores are just fine, because this film will be another massive hit. It’s the fourth-best opening weekend of the year behind only Avengers Endgame, The Lion King, and Captain Marvel. What’s more, it’s taking off overseas where it has added $223.2 million for a $350.2 million worldwide total. It’s not likely that this film will top the original’s $400.7 domestic take; sequels tend to start stronger and sputter out more quickly. But it could very well land in that ultimate range and a $350 million domestic total seemse like a sure thing unless it has truly precipitous drops. There’s no word on its budget but even though it almost certainly cost more than $100 million, it’s going to be a mega-hit.

Coming in at #2 after its strong start last weekend was Ford v Ferrari. The racing biopic brought in $16 million, down 49% from last weekend. That is a higher drop than we typically see from potential award contenders, but the stronger-than-expected start for the film is a factor in that. Thus far, the movie is in fine shape with $58 million domestically and $103.8 million worldwide. Even with a spendy $97 million production budget, this movie is going to be in goot shape and should be able to hit $100 million or more in the US.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood got off to a solid start at #3 with a $13.5 million opening. That’s a touch low compared to the mid-teens start most were expecting, but a big part of that is Frozen’s success stealing the family crowd away. It’s still a decent number for a film that is expected to play throughout awards season and garner Tom Hanks some Best Supporting Actor love. Its legs will be bouyed only by the fantastic 96% Rotten Tomatoes aggregate, but by the strong audience word of mouth. The CinemaScore isn’t in, but RenTrak reports a 4.5 star rating and a great 69% “definite recommend” score.

Neighborhood opened this weekend with an eye for the long haul, and that’s where it should go from here. TriStar marketed the film with a pretty standard feel-good movie campaign. The movie comes on the heels of the highly-successful Won’t You Be My Neighbor? documentary from Focus Features last year that helped raise the late Mr. Rogers’ profile. This film won’t likely see much play overseas until it starts picking up award buzz, but here in the states it should be able to top $45 million at least before things heat up at the end of the year. The budget was $25 million, meaning that those awards will be needed to get this to a strong profit margin.

21 Bridges started on less stable ground. The Russo Brothers-produced crime thriller opened to $9.3 million. While that’s right around where it was expected to start moving into the weekend, it’s not the best opening for a $33 million budget film. This one had a good pedigree behind it, coming from the directors of Avengers: Endgame and starring Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman. STX Films didn’t seem to find the right formula to capitalize on that though, and this film is a far cry from the superhero action of the MCU. Critics weren’t too impressed with a mediocre 45% RT score, and critical regard is something that a mid-budget crime thriller has to lean more on.

That said, it’s not all bad news here. The relatively low budget and a restrained marketing campaign means there is hope for this one if it does see play overseas. The B+ CinemaScore suggests the potential for good word of mouth that could push the movie into the $35 million-plus range. It will need international results to bring in a profit for the studio, but that’s not entirely out of the woods.

Midway slipped a decent 45% in its third weekend, bringing in $4.7 million. The war film had only 21 Bridges as any kind of competition among the new releases which aided in its hold. The Roland Emmerich-directed movie is up to $43.1 million domestically and $98.9 million worldwide against a $100 million budget. It is still in a rough way to whether it will ultimately bring in a profit while in theaters, with a likely domestic total of around $53 million.

The John Cena-led Playing With Fire is continuing to do good numbers, considering the family fare opened this weekend. The comedy dropped 45% to $4.6 million, bringing it to $31.6 million domestically and $36.1 million worldwide. It should end its US total at about $40 million, enough for profit on Paramount’s table.

The Good Liar held onto the #7 spot in its second week, slipping 40% to $3.4 million start. The Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen thriller is chalking up okay numbers against a $10 million budget, sitting at $11.8 million domestically and $17.2 million worldwide. The film should continue to play its way toward a $20 million domestic close, with overseas numbers helping bring it to a bit of profit for New Line.

The same cannot be said of Sony Pictures’ Charlie’s Angels revival, which sunk an ugly 62% to $3.2 million in its second frame. The action film got off to a bad start last week and this is the final pound on the final nail in the coffin for it. The film has $13.9 million domestically and $43.5 million worldwide against a $48 million budget plus its marketing camnpaign. It may not top $20 million domestically and is losing the studio money.

Last Christmas sunk 53% in its third weekend to score $3 million. The holiday-themed film has garnered just $27.8 million domestically but is looking more robust overseas, with and $51.6 million worldwide. It still has a ways to go to make back its $20 million budget plus marketing, but with a $33 million domestic total and money continuing to come in internationally it should be able to find some profit.

Joker closed out the top 10 with $2.8 million, down 47% in its eighth week. The DC Comics film is up to $329.9 million domestically and $1.035 billion worldwide, and should close out at $335 million domestically. It’s obviously a huge hit for the studio.

Frozen II will continue its reign next weekend, with the new entries looking to act as counter-programming. The buzzy ensemble whodunit Knives Out is looking to score in the high teens, while crime drama Queen & Slim should be in the high single digits

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Frozen II – $127 million ($127 million total)
2. Ford v Ferrari – $16 million ($58 million total)
3. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – $13.5 million ($13.5 million total)
4. 21 Bridges – $9.3 million ($9.3 million total)
5. Midway – $4.7 million ($43.1 million total)
6. Playing With Fire – $4.6 million ($31.6 million total)
7. The Good Liar – $3.4 million ($11.8 million total)
8. Charlie’s Angels – $3.2 million ($13.9 million total)
9. Last Christmas – $3 million ($27.8 million total)
10. Joker – $2.8 million ($326.9 million total)