Catching Fire Catches Fire; Frozen Thaws Thanksgiving Record - Weeks 4 & 5 | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire | Frozen | Thor: The Dark World

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Catching Fire Catches Fire; Frozen Thaws Thanksgiving Record - Weeks 4 & 5

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Thor: The Dark World
The Best Man Holiday
Last Vegas
Ender's Game
Free Birds
Delivery Man
Black Nativity
Week 4
The Hunger Games rolled doubles three times in a row and still didn't have to go to jail as Catching Fire set a November opening record (which basically means it beat three Twilight films) with a $158.1 million debut. Though only a minor bump up from the $152 million start for The Hunger Games in March of 2012, this clearly cements the series as one for the long haul and Lionsgate accountants are counting the days until they can count all the money from Mockingjay Parts One and Two. It almost goes without saying that this was also Lenny Kravitz's biggest opening since Are You Gonna Go My Way.

The same can't be said for Vince Vaughn as his Delivery Man clearly got lost in the mail with a return to sender-esque $7.9 million. Maybe Disney thought Catching Fire was going to only attract female audiences and Gen-X men would want something else to see while their daughters and wives went to the multiplexes, but Gen-X men are always game for movies with strong female protagonists and action. We've been raised on Aliens, Terminator 2, and more importantly, GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling). The point being, this isn't like selling guys on the WNBA. Women and action is like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and Vince Vaughn is a Mounds. He's the end of the famous Almond Joy slogan: "Sometimes you feel like a nut..." He's the "Sometimes you don't."

Thor: The Dark World and The Best Man Holiday both felt the heat from Catching Fire as they both dropped around 60%. Thor's fall from Asgard could be expected after two big weekends, yet The BM Holiday looked to have a steadier decline after it's impressive debut weekend and outstanding exit-audience polling numbers. Perhaps this holiday wasn't different than any other. It's fun for the first few minutes until you realize there's probably a reason you only catch-up with these people once a year.

The Top Five If Week 4 Was Martin Luther King Jr. Observance:
#1. Thor: The Dark World - $167.9 million
#2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - $158.1 million
#3. Ender's Game - $57.2 million
#4. Last Vegas - $53.9 million
#5. The Best Man Holiday - $50.4 million

Week 5
In a crowded holiday weekend with four new films, one froze out all other newcomers and no amount of snow plows is going to help unbury those Thanksgiving Day turkeys.

Disney's Frozen capitalized on its back-to-back November successes of Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph and may have its second biggest hit ever as a result. After a massive $93.4 million five-day total, Frozen is a snowball rolling downhill. It bested the record held by Toy Story 2 for 14 years (Seriously, how that number's held up all this time is astonishing) for largest Thanksgiving Weekend Opening. TS2's $80.1 million start now sits at second place with Tangled's $68.7 million moved to third. If Frozen's already $25 million ahead of Tangled (which ended-up around a $200 million total), it should have no problem cracking the thin ice of $250 million easy. All it needs is $218 million to pass the current #2 film on Disney's all-time animated list, Beauty and the Beast. In case you were wondering, no one's ever catching The Lion King which is over $400 million now after 3D re-releases and such. And, as always, I never count Pixar films as Disney Animation flicks. It'd be like counting Laker legends among Clipper greats.

It's not like any film that's already made $296.5 million in ten days needs a confidence boost, but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire went from being the sixth biggest debut of all-time to having the fourth biggest second weekend ever with $74.5 million. Take that Iron Man 3, The Dark Knight Rises, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2! Yeah, those were the three films above it for opening weekend grosses that fell behind in second weekend totals, if you couldn't tell from my faux rage (Avatar was the film that climbed above with $75.6 million in its second weekend). For those who thought leaving Taylor Swift off the Catching Fire soundtrack was going to cost them dearly, apparently it's a non-factor if you've got rising star Lorde's deconstruction of the Tears for Fears classic Everybody Wants To Rule The World going for you... or going against you if you've actually heard it. Sure, there's still The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to go, yet it doesn't look like any film is catching this Fire.

We've heard from the Turkey Day contenders. What happened to the pretenders?

Jason Statham's Sylvester Stallone penned action film Homefront went out the back with a meager $9.8 five-day haul. Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot probably opened better and Sly didn't even write that. Following Statham's other recent flops of Parker and Safe, it's pretty clear his "next big thing" days have become "the next mediocre on-demand release."

Audiences could only handle one new musical at the box-office this weekend which left Black Nativity out in the manger. $5 million in five days is certainly more than any wise men ever brought Mary and Joseph, yet we don't live in biblical economies anymore. If King Herod had ever heard about this movie, I don't think he would've been too worried.

That said, a million a day is better than Spike Lee's Oldboy could muster. The distributor dropped the film on only 500 screens and didn't do a lick of advertising to further tighten the cement shoes as the film sank with only $1.5 million earned so far. I mean, I've joked about how no one pays to see a Josh Brolin movie, but please... give us a chance to reject him first. Don't do it for us! On the flip side, I guess states can legalize it all they want, but folks just aren't all that interested in a Spike Lee Joint.

The Top Five If Today Was Martin Luther King Jr. Observance:
#1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - $296.5 million
#2. Thor: The Dark World - $186.7 million
#3. Frozen - $93.4 million
#4. The Best Man Holiday - $63.4 million
#5. Last Vegas - $58.7 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/02/2013

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Black Nativity, Delivery Man, Ender's Game, Free Birds, Frozen, Homefront, Last Vegas, Oldboy, The Best Man Holiday, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Thor: The Dark World
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