Despite the debut of two films this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, it’s the same story as a week ago — “Frozen II” has won the box office crown and done so in record-breaking fashion. But this record doesn’t mean that “Knives Out” and “Queen & Slim” were left out in the cold. In fact, all three films have plenty to be thankful for this holiday.
But before we get to the new films, we have to talk about Elsa and the rest of the ‘Frozen’ gang. The Disney animated feature broke the record for best November opening weekend last frame and over the 5-day holiday weekend now, “Frozen II” broke the Thanksgiving holiday record with a total of $124 million (besting “Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s” previous record of $110 million). The film now sits with a 10 day total of $288 million at the domestic box office, well on its way of besting the already-great total of the first film.
Globally, “Frozen II” is making huge waves with a worldwide cume of $739 million. It’s clear that $1 billion is well within its reach and Disney will keep on reaping the rewards of an incredible 2019 at the box office. The big number that the studio has in its sights is $1.29 billion. That’s the global gross of the first “Frozen” back in 2013. That film currently holds the #2 animated box office total all-time. So, if “Frozen II” can best that number, the only film ahead of it will be “The Lion King” and its massive $1.66 billion worldwide total (also released this year).
As for the biggest newcomer for the holiday weekend, “Knives Out” overperformed (versus its $30 million predictions) and earned a great $41.7 million (including the $2 million from last week’s “preview” screenings). Globally, the film now sits at $70 million after its first weekend. Not too shabby at all when you consider the Rian Johnson-directed whodunnit cost a modest $40 million before advertising.
As for the weeks to come, based on this opening weekend, the 96% Rotten Tomatoes score, and the A- CinemaScore, “Knives Out” should be able to eclipse $100 million domestically and at least $200 million worldwide. That would be a great run for a film with this type of budget.
The other major debut this weekend is “Queen & Slim,” the R-rated crime thriller starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith. The film earned $15.8 million after five days and is well on its way to profitability. With a relatively small budget of only $17 million before advertising, the film is likely going to reach profitability before leaving theaters, as the reviews are strong (88% on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences seem to be enjoying the adult-skewing film, with an A- CinemaScore. We’ve said it in the past, but R-rated films during the holiday season are not expected to have massive opening weekends, but the good films tend to have strong legs, as adults finally settle down and make their way to the local multiplex.
If “Queen & Slim” is able to enjoy the legs that the stats suggest, then Universal will likely have a little hit on its hands and perhaps a stronger awards season contender than it originally thought.
And to end this report, it’s time to revisit a film that we haven’t talked much about over the last few weeks — “Joker.” After the holiday weekend, the Todd Phillips film was able to eclipse “Batman v. Superman” at the domestic box office, with its cume of $330.6 million. That means the R-rated comic book film only has “Aquaman” ($335 million) and “Wonder Woman” ($412 million) ahead of it, in regards to WB superhero films. That’s pretty incredible, as we’ve said in the past, given its R-rating and $65 million budget. Obviously, “Joker” likely won’t reach “Wonder Woman’s” domestic total, but there’s a possibility that the Clown Prince of Crime could pass Jason Momoa’s muscle-bound fish guy.
Next weekend, there’s a bit of a lull in the box office, as the only major release is “Playmobil: The Movie.” However, that’s only a brief slowdown, as December 13 brings no less than six major debuts in the last weekend before “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” hits cinemas.
Here’s the entire domestic top 10 for November 27 to December 1 (5-day totals):
1. Frozen II – $123.7M ($288M Overall)
2. Knives Out – $41.7M (Debut)
3. Ford v Ferrari – $19M ($81M)
4. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – $17.2M ($34M)
5. Queen & Slim – $15.8M (Debut)
6. 21 Bridges – $8M ($20M)
7. Playing with FIre – $6M ($39M)
8. Midway – $5.8M ($50M)
9. Joker – $3M ($330.6M)
10. Last Christmas – $2.8M ($32M)