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Thanksgiving box office: Frozen II breaks ice on new holiday record with $123.7 million

Contributed by
Dec 1, 2019

Katniss Everdeen is no longer the ruler of the Thanksgiving box-office weekend. Long live Queen Elsa of Arendelle!

Disney’s Frozen II (now playing in its second weekend) set a new standard for the holiday by bringing in $123.7 million domestically across the five-day frame between Wednesday and Sunday. The previous record holder was The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in 2017, which tallied up $109 million during the Thanksgiving period.

The first Frozen, which opened in November of 2013, only managed to hit just over $93 million during the holiday weekend, which also marked the movie's second week in theaters.

In the traditional three-day weekend format, Frozen II made $85.2 million. After just two weekends, the animated feature is closing in on $300 million in North America, with a current total of $287 million. Internationally, the long-awaited sequel has racked up more than $730 million in global box-office sales, basically making it inevitable that the movie will cross $1 billion before the year is out.

If we were Disney, we'd be toying with the idea of a third entry in the series at this point.

Directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck (the directors of the original), the follow-up finds Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad), and Sven traveling to an enchanted forest that is sequestered from the rest of the world by a magical wall of mist. During the adventure, Elsa learns more about her mysterious ice powers and Anna tries to rectify a grave mistake made by her grandfather years before.

Sterling K. Brown, Alfred Molina, Evan Rachel Wood, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, and Jeremy Sisto join the Frozen canon as the voices of characters both new and old.

Another genre contender this Thanksgiving was Rian Johnson's Knives Out, an all-star whodunit that turns the Agatha Christie murder mystery concept on its head. Written and directed by Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi), the movie slayed $41.6 million domestically for Lionsgate over the five-day holiday. Across the normal Friday-Sunday frame, it made $27 million.

Overseas, the film (which cost around $40 million to produce) brought in $28.3 million, for a global debut of $70 million.

Knives Out boasts an incredibly talented ensemble cast that includes Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, and Christopher Plummer.

In particular, Craig plays Benoit Blanc, a private investigator with a Southern twang looking into the murder of a famous murder mystery author, Harlan Thrombey (Plummer). Harlan just so happened to be the patriarch of an entitled family of petulant and bigoted brats—any of whom could have had a motive to kill the old man.

"The approach to Benoit Blanc, our detective in this, is very much that," Johnson told SYFY WIRE. "Giving him a Southern accent, especially in the context of him being amidst all these old-money New England WASPs, was a big, big part of it. Also, having him have this self-inflated ego. He refers to himself in the third person. That's all part of it. It's a universal element with all the great detectives in whodunit fiction specifically."

(via Variety - domestic; Variety - international; & Box Office Mojo)


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