Saturday Update: The post-Thanksgiving/first December weekend is historically a slow point in the holiday market, and this year is proving to be no exception.
Lionsgate reports this morning that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire earned $7.7 million on Friday, winning the day and putting it on track for a $27.5 million third weekend. To date, Catching Fire has earned $317.4 million domestically--12.5 percent ahead of the 15-day gross of the original Hunger Games.
Disney's Frozen claimed the runner-up spot on Friday with $6.815 million. It should, however, post strong enough Saturday and Sunday business to claim first place for the weekend when all is said and done. BoxOffice projects the hit animated film will tally $29 million in its sophomore weekend.
Through Friday, Frozen's 10th day of wide release, the pic has amassed an impressive $109.45 million. At the same point in release, Tangled had brought in 37 percent less (with $80.1 million) back in 2010. Aside from next week's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, competition for Frozen's family audience will be minimal throughout December. Look for sustained leg growth over the holidays as Frozen continues its bid to become Disney's top animated film of the year (currently summer's Monsters University with $268.5 million domestically).
As expected, Relativity's Out of the Furnace got off to a soft start on Friday. The Christian Bale starrer grossed $1.88 million in its first day of wide release (having opened in 4 theaters on Wednesday). That's noticeably less than the $2.5 million Killing Them Softly drew in its first day over the same weekend last year and puts Furnace on pace for a $5.5 million debut.
Furnace was hoping to cash in on the goodwill of Bale and supporting actors Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, and Casey Affleck, as well as director Scott Cooper's critical success from Crazy Heart. Unfortunately, reviews disappointed with 52 percent of critics giving the film a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Early audience word of mouth doesn't appear strong either, with 68 percent of just over 17,000 Flixster users anticipating or having enjoyed the film.
Friday Update: Sources tell BoxOffice that Frozen will push The Hunger Games: Catching Fire out of first place this weekend.
Disney's latest animated flick is headed for as much as $36 million during its second weekend of wide release, which would put it at nearly $140 million in North America.
Catching Fire looks poised to make as much as $34 million, and that means the $350 million domestic mark is not far off.
Out of the Furnace could rope in $7 million during its first weekend of wide release.
More coming soon...