Disney sequel gets a warm reception!
Disney fans flocked to see the return of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf this weekend as FROZEN II was chilling on top of the box office with an estimated opening of $127 million!
Not including this year’s lifelike remake of THE LION KING, the sequel had the biggest domestic opening for Disney’s (non-Pixar) animated features and overshadowed the original FROZEN, which went wide on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 2013 and scored $67.3 million for the three-day weekend and $93.9 million for the five-day period (before becoming a box office phenomenon, ultimately finishing with $400 million domestic and $1.2 billion worldwide).
The PG-rated musical fantasy follow-up (again directed by the first movie’s duo Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck) also accumulated $223.2 million from international audiences for a worldwide weekend of $350.2 million, which sets a new record for worldwide animated openings as it easily surpassed the $242 million global start of last year’s INCREDIBLES 2.
No official cost has been reported for the fairy tale sequel (which brings back the voices of Idina Menzel as snow queen Elsa and Kristen Bell as sister Anna), but the original FROZEN had a $150 million budget. Last year’s animated Disney sequel RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET came with a $175 million cost, so FROZEN II is likely somewhere in that vicinity (and will probably make that in merchandise sales on Black Friday alone).
Critics seemed more able to let it go than moviegoers, giving the sequel a 75% average on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to the first movie’s 90% average), and a score of 65 on Metacritic. Blow on over to the JoBlo review HERE.
After speeding to first place last week, the fact-based vehicular drama FORD V FERRARI slowed to second place with $16 million, hitting the brakes by 49% from its opening weekend.
Director James Mangold‘s PG-13 story of driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) and car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) planning for the the 1966 Le Mans race has a ten-day domestic total of $57.9 million and a worldwide total of $103.7 million, on a reported cost of $98 million.
In third place was the new biopic A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD with an opening of $13.5 million.
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? director Marielle Heller‘s PG-rated drama, which explores the relationship between cardigan-clad children’s show host Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) and a cynical journalist (Matthew Rhys of “The Americans”), cost a reported $25 million.
The last time Hanks appeared as a real-life figure on the big screen, portraying the titular pilot in Clint Eastwood‘s SULLY, he took off with a $35 million opening weekend in September 2016.
Most critics were moved by the glimpse into the life of the beloved creator of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” (also chronicled in last year’s acclaimed documentary WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?), giving the movie a 96% average on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 80 on Metacritic. Take the trolley to the JoBlo review HERE.
Opening in fourth place was the new cop drama 21 BRIDGES with $9.3 million.
Directed by Brian Kirk (“Game of Thrones”, “Penny Dreadful”) and also starring Sienna Miller and J.K. Simmons, the R-rated movie was bounced from its initial release dates of July 12 and September 27 before settling in this pre-Thanksgiving weekend.
The PG-13 WWII action-drama MIDWAY was in fifth place with $4.7 million on its third weekend, bringing director Roland Emmerich‘s $100 million historical battle to a domestic total of $43.1 million and a worldwide total of $85.4 million.
In sixth place was the PG-rated John Cena comedy PLAYING WITH FIRE with $4.6 million. The family feature has a domestic total of $31.6 million and a worldwide total of $36.1 million, on a reported cost of $30 million.
Holding on to seventh place was the R-rated Ian McKellen/Helen Mirren crime drama THE GOOD LIAR with $3.3 million, dipping by 40% from its opening last weekend. Director Bill Condon‘s $10 million con-artist thriller has a ten-day domestic total of $11.7 million and $17.1 million worldwide.
The PG-13 TV adaptation CHARLIE’S ANGELS was in eighth place with $3.1 million, a plunge of 62% from last week’s opening. Director/writer/co-star Elizabeth Banks‘ $48 million action-comedy with Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott has a ten-day domestic total of $13.9 million and $43.5 million worldwide.
In ninth place was the Emilia Clarke / Henry Golding romance LAST CHRISTMAS with $3 million, which brings director Paul Feig‘s PG-13 holiday comedy to $27.7 million domestic and $51.7 million worldwide on a reported $25 million cost.
At the bottom after two full months in the Top 10 was the Gotham villain origin story JOKER with $2.8 million. The R-rated DC Comics adaptation with Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime has a domestic total of $326.9 million and a whopping $1.03 billion worldwide, on a cost rumored to be between $55-$70 million.
Outside the chart, the R-rated Stephen King sequel DOCTOR SLEEP already went to bed after two weekends on the list, while Disney’s MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL got displaced by their latest fairy tale sequel and historical biopic HARRIET slipped away.
And before it arrives in time for the Thanksgiving feast, director Rian Johnson’s all-star murder mystery KNIVES OUT had an early sneak screening over the weekend and gathered $2 million.