'Frozen' ices competition to win post-holiday box office race

Sun Jan 5, 2014 3:13pm EST
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By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co's animated fairy tale "Frozen" took hold of first place on movie charts in the United States and Canada for the first weekend of 2014, knocking three-time champion "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" down to the No.3 spot.

Second place went to new horror movie "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones", a spinoff from the hit low-budget "Paranormal Activity" franchise.

"Frozen," which opened on the eve of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend in November, collected $20.7 million in ticket sales to claim the weekend box office crown, ahead of "The Marked Ones" which earned $18.2 million from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from Rentrak.

Kristen Bell provides the voice for the lead character in "Frozen," the story of a Scandinavian princess on a search for her missing sister, the queen.

The hit film is nearing a $300 million domestic total and has collected $640 million in global ticket sales, making it the highest-grossing Disney Animation release of all-time behind only "The Lion King," Disney said.

"The Marked Ones" introduces new characters and a different story to the hit "Paranormal" franchise produced by horror filmmaker Jason Blum.

The new installment, designed to appeal specially to Latino moviegoers, features Hispanic actors and some Spanish dialogue in a story about a young man (Andrew Jacobs) in Oxnard, California, who learns he is marked for possession by a demon.

Like its predecessors, the film uses a "found footage" style that captures encounters with invisible forces on camera.   Continued...

Cast member Kristen Bell poses at the premiere of "Frozen" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California November 19, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni