Frozen Sets Fire To Thor's Reign - Week 6 | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire | Frozen | Thor: The Dark World

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Frozen Sets Fire To Thor's Reign - Week 6

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Thor: The Dark World
The Best Man Holiday
Last Vegas
Out of the Furnace
With only one new hors d'oeuvre offered the week, theatergoers ate up the leftovers and scarfed down second helpings of their favorite Thanksgiving goodies. While some may think Christian Bale should take it personally that people rejected his violent action drama Out of the Furnace the first days of December, the same peeps put up a No Soliciting sign for Brad Pitt's similarly-veined Killing Them Softly in the very same weekend last year and just never took it down.

Instead, Frozen ice picked it's way to the top of the box-office heap with a $31.6 million haul. Sledding down 53.1% was impressive given the movie's large opening numbers. With a 12-day total of $134.3 million, a ton of momentum, and a complete lack of any family films on the horizon, Frozen looks like it could snowball right past that hunky Asgardian prince, Thor. I guess it takes more than a spear and magic helmet these days to hold Disney animated musicals back.

Speaking of which, Disney was a marketing genius again with Frozen. Just as they did with Tangled, they never touted the movie as a musical. Broadway fans could figure that out on their own as soon as they saw Idina Menzel was one of the voices. Instead, the teaser trailer featured an Ice Age-esque short that wasn't even in the final film featuring the comic-relief snowman Olaf: A snowman they put front and center in the poster when he doesn't even appear until the second half of the movie. It's like the opposite of Psycho! Instead of killing off the lead half-way through, they don't drop the main attraction in until we're half-way home. The point: to prevent boys from whining if they thought they were going to a singing princess movie. Mission accomplished and then some.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire flamed-out 65% in its third weekend yet still managed another $26.2 million. Smoldering with a white-hot $335.9 million total so far, the film is about $30 million ahead of where The Hunger Games was after 17 days. Will the sequel be able to hold off the upcoming competition from Middle Earth or fall back to Regular Earth? More importantly, how did Donald Sutherland go from being such a laid-back, groovy professor in Animal House to such a maniacal, uptight dictator in The Hunger Games? And they say no harm can come from smoking too much weed...

Speaking of smoking something, the producers who thought this was a nice, quiet weekend to release a film no one wants to see, obviously thought wrong when it comes to Out of the Furnace. A $5.2 million start is usually followed-up with a $5.3 million end after this kind of opening. I know there are a lot of "award" movies doing limited runs to attract critical attention and hope to attract moviegoers when their film is released wider. The thing is, the public needs that critical attention to want to go see something like Out of the Furnace during this time of year. Otherwise it doesn't matter whether you've got Christian Bale or Matt Dillion in the lead. If it's merely thrown loose in the wild with no built-in audience or interest, well, that's when Delivery Man, Homefront, and Oldboy happens. Oh wait, they already did.

The real world is growing dim for Thor: The Dark World. While it'll certainly cross the $200 million level, it won't make much more than that after slowing down with a $4.8 million weekend and $193.7 million total. This is nowhere near my $250 million hope for the film and Frozen is looking certain to ice skate passed $200 million in no time. Maybe next time when the Thor producers are thinking which character should be running around naked, they won't go with the pot-bellied, middle-aged scientist guy. Just saying.

The Top Five If Today Was Martin Luther King Jr. Observance:
#1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - $335.9 million
#2. Thor: The Dark World - $193.7 million
#3. Frozen - $134.3 million
#4. The Best Man Holiday - $67.2 million
#5. Last Vegas - $60.6 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/10/2013

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Frozen, Last Vegas, Out of the Furnace, The Best Man Holiday, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Thor: The Dark World
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