By Diana Drumm | The Playlist December 8, 2013 at 1:44PM
Oh, the weather outside is... Well, it's not that frightful yet—but it is a tad chilly. In that winter wonderland spirit, audiences flooded to "Frozen" over fellow holdover "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and newcomer "Out of the Furnace."
Thanks to great word of mouth and it being the only PG-friendly feature in the interim of the holidays, "Frozen" snatched up families and Disney nostalgists of all ages (both Nana and little Bobby being more keen on musical numbers and talking snowmen than teenagers killing each other or R-rated vigilante justice). The question for next week, will "Frozen" be able to freeze out "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug?" Or will Elsa melt away at Smaug's dragonfire (or the smoldering of Benedict Cumberbatch's voice)?
In the top spot, "Frozen" shot an icy arrow into the heart of Katniss and knocked down "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" with $31.6 million for the weekend. In second, 'Catching Fire' fell off 63% but still managed $27 million, with a massive running total of $673.4 million worldwide. A few breaths away from beating the $691 million theatrical run of its predecessor "The Hunger Games," 'Catching Fire' looks like it will outrace that figure and do a few better, likely reaching the $750 million mark. But as for the magical, mythical $1 billion Lionsgate was hoping for? That will be a tough road, especially with the big movies coming before December ends.
Opening in third, Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace" barely burned, earning only $5.3 million on over 2,000 screens. With an all-star cast including Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Forrest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe and Sam Shepard, the R-rated revenge story barely tracked with audiences earning a tepid C+ CinemaScore. The take is even worse than last year's "Killing Them Softly," another gritty, star-studded, R-rated drama in wide release that only took $6.8 million. Maybe this is a clue that studios should: a) not release these kinds of movies in the first week of December (traditionally a tough weekend following the glut of Thanksgiving releases) and/or b) look at a platform strategy for the kind of movies that need word of mouth to find an audience.
In fourth, "Thor: The Dark World" hammered down another $4.7 million this weekend to make a grand running worldwide total of $610.3 million. In fifth, "Delivery Man" is still in the delivery room with $3.8 million. In sixth, "Homefront" struck up $3.4 million. In a stealthy seventh, "The Book Thief" scoffed off with $2.7 million. In eighth, "The Best Man Holiday" continues to deliver in its fourth week with $2.7 million. Rounding out the top ten are two awards contenders, "Philomena" came in ninth with $2.3 million and "Dallas Buyers Club" roped in tenth with $1.5 million.
For all of you (assumedly very few) who were hoping for "Oldboy" to rally on its second weekend, we're sorry (not really) to disappoint you, but the Spike Lee joint dropped in ticket sales by 67% and only managed to bring in $296,000 for the weekend.
As for specialty box office, Joel & Ethan Coens' "Inside Llewyn Davis" opened in four theaters and made $402,000, averaging an eye-popping $100,500 per theater. After winning the Grand Prix at Cannes and being a favorite on the festival circuit (NYFF, BFI, etc.), "Inside Llewyn Davis" had the second best opening in limited release of the year (after "Blue Jasmine" and its $102,011) and the 17th best ever (for both wide and limited release, without adjusting for inflation), nabbing the spot from "Midnight In Paris." The '60s folk scene-set film (check out our review here) also marks the biggest opening (in terms of per theater averages) of the Coen brothers' career, beating out "No Country For Old Men" and its $43,797 per theater average. In second place and its second week, Justin Chadwick's "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom" made $77,652 from 4 theaters, averaging $19,413 per theater. In third and its fourth week, Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" made $545,000 from 115 theaters, averaging $4,739 per theater. In fourth and its fourth week, Paolo Sorrentino's "The Great Beauty" made $88,478 from 23 theaters, averaging $3,847 per theater. In fifth and its twelfth week, Vlad Yudin's "Generation Iron" made $22,600 from seven theaters, averaging $3,288.
1. Frozen (Buena Vista) - $31,641,000 ($134,278,000)
2. The Hunger Games (LionsGate) - $27,000,000 ($336,665,000)
3. Out of the Furnace (Relativity Media) - $5,300,000
4. Thor: The Dark World (Buena Vista) - $4,740,000 ($193,640,000)
5. Delivery Man (Buena Vista) - $3,775,000 ($24,799,000)
6. Homefront (Orion Features) - $3,384,000 ($15,284,000)
7. The Book Thief (Fox) - $2,700,000 ($12,075,000)
8. The Best Man Holiday (Universal) - $2,673,000 ($67,239,000)
9. Philomena (The Weinstein Company) - $2,282,000 ($8,255,000)
10. Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features) - $1,459,000 ($12,411,000)