'Catching Fire' Disney's 'Frozen' top record box office weekend

Sun Dec 1, 2013 2:04pm EST
 
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By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" continued to light up the box office through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, collecting a record $110.2 million over five days to surpass a hefty opening for Disney's new animated film "Frozen," and bringing its 10-day total to nearly $300 million.

Moviegoers flooded theaters in record-setting numbers, dropping $294 million at box offices, besting the $290 million spent a year ago over the five-day period.

"Catching Fire" and "Frozen" both beat the Thanksgiving box office record of $82.4 million set by "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in 2001.

"Frozen," which critics lavishly praised, recorded ticket sales of $93 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters for the five-day holiday period that began on Wednesday, according to studio estimates compiled by Reuters. That far exceeded industry projections of about $63 million.

"Frozen," inspired by "The Snow Queen" fairytale, features the voice of Kristen Bell as a Scandinavian princess intent on finding her sister, the Queen, who has the power to freeze anything with a touch and accidentally sets off a long winter that is destroying their kingdom.

"This was much more than we ever could have thought," said Dave Hollis, executive vice president of distribution for Walt Disney Studios, of "Frozen"'s strong opening, adding it was the biggest-ever opening for one of its animated releases.

Disney's action film "Thor: The Dark World," based on the character from its Marvel comic book unit, was third with $15.5 million in ticket sales, according to data compiled by Rentrak.

"Catching Fire," the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster "The Hunger Games," stars Jennifer Lawrence as heroine Katniss Everdeen, the skilled archer who becomes a beacon of hope for an oppressed society. The movies, distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment, are based on a series of novels by Suzanne Collins.   Continued...

 
People wait at the premiere of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" in Los Angeles, California November 18, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni