“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” crushed box office records over the Thanksgiving holiday, earning a whopping $75 million, beating out the previous Thanksgiving record holder, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” which earned $57.5 million in 2001 over a three-day period.
“Catching Fire”, based on the series of books by Suzanne Collins, earned the biggest-ever gross for a film from Wednesday to Sunday over the Thanksgiving holiday. It brought in $110.2 million, raising its domestic total to $297 million.
“All of these records being broken, it’s like a true snowball effect,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. “Overall, this is the biggest Thanksgiving weekend for the industry ever. Last year was the Thanksgiving record holder, but this one-two punch with ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘Frozen’ was just amazing.”
Internationally, “Catching Fire” continues to hold strong, grossing $573 million worldwide.
Coming in second over the weekend, “Frozen”, became the largest opening for Walt Disney Animation Studios. It scored $93 million over the five days, beating Disney’s previous winner, “Toy Story 2,” which earned $80.1 million in 1999.
“For a company whose foundation was built on animation, to have this as the biggest opening ever is a pretty extraordinary thing,” said Dave Hollis, executive vice president of distribution at Walt Disney Studios, adding that the box office returns for “Frozen” far surpassed studio expectations.
“We came into the weekend feeling like anything that would exceed the result from ‘Tangled’ from a couple years back would be great,” Hollis continued.
“Tangled” opened with $68.7 million in 2010. “We thought something in the $70-$80 million range is what might be possible with ‘Frozen.’ We are hoping it lends itself to a big, long payoff after this great start,” said Hollis.
Disney’s “Thor: The Dark World” dropped to No. 3 this weekend, earning $11.1 million. Globally, it continues to boost Disney’s earnings with a total of $591.1 million.
Universal’s romantic comedy, “The Best Man Holiday”, held the fourth slot with $8.5 million, while the thriller, “Homefront,” starring Jason Statham and James Franco, secured the No. 5 slot with $7 million.
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