‘Knives Out’ and ‘Queen & Slim’ are also carving up strong holiday numbers in a win for midrange, adult dramas.
Walt Disney Animation’s Frozen 2 has skated past $200 million domestically in near-record time for an animated pic. And it is the fastest do so outside of summer.
The sequel achieved the milestone on Thanksgiving, its seventh day in release. Pixar and Disney’s The Incredibles 2 flew past $200 million in four days in mid-June 2018. Frozen 2 ties with Finding Dory, which likewise achieved the milestone in seven days in mid-June 2016.
Directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, Frozen 2 finished Thanksgiving with a North American total of $202.3 million after earning $14.7 million for the day, just behind the holiday record set by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($14.9 million) in 2013, not adjusted for inflation.
At this pace, Frozen 2 is is projected to gross as much as $130 million for the Wednesday to Sunday stretch, easily setting a new record for the five-day Thanksgiving corridor. Catching Fire is the current crown-holder ($109.9 million).
Second up is the first Frozen, which earned $93.7 million for the five days in 2013 (unlike the sequel, Frozen didn’t open nationwide until the Wednesday before the holiday).
The strength of the Thanksgiving box office doesn’t belong only to Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. A buffet of midrange films and adult dramas are prospering, led by Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, which is blowing past all expectations.
The star-studded whodunnit earned $8.5 million on Thanksgiving for a two-day total of $14.2 million, including previews. The movie, produced by Johnson’s T-Street, is now on course for a five-day opening of $40 million to $44 million, versus an expected $20 million to $25 million heading into its debut.
Knives Out, about a family gathering that goes horribly wrong when the clan’s patriarch turns up dead, stars Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell and Christopher Plummer. (MRC shares a parent company, Valence Media, with Hollywood Insight.)
Universal and Makeready’s Queen & Slim — helmed by acclaimed music video director Melina Matsoukas in her feature directorial debut from a script by Lena Waithe — is also overperforming. The film earned $2.4 million Thursday for a two-day domestic cume of $4.1 million and projected five-day take of $15 million.
Queen & Slim stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith as a couple on their first date who are forced to go on the run after a traffic stop gone wrong.
Both Knives Out and Queen & Slim landed A- CinemaScores from audiences, as well as strong exits on PostTrak.
Holdovers Ford v Ferrari, now in its third outing, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which opened last weekend, are also contributing to the holiday feast with a projected $20 million each for the five days.
In terms of overall revenue, Thanksgiving 2019 isn’t likely to match last year’s record $315.5 million, but is guaranteed to help make up for an otherwise tough November.
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