After a record-breaking Thanksgiving holiday, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" yielded the top spot at the box office to "Frozen" over the weekend. Disney's 3-D animated musical had the biggest post-Thanksgiving weekend ever with $31.6 million. "Catching Fire" settled for #2 with $27 million, putting "The Hunger Games" sequel's domestic box-office total at $336.7 million.
Much like Brad Pitt's dark thriller "Killing Them Softly" during the same weekend last year, Christian Bale's "Out of the Furnace" failed to deliver. Writer/director Scott Cooper's follow-up to the award-winning "Crazy Heart" opened at a distant #3 with just $5.3 million.
"Crazy Heart" began its run in just four theaters back in December 2009. The Coen Brothers Oscar-buzzing drama, "Inside Llewyn Davis," got off to a solid start in just four theaters over the weekend. Set in New York's folk scene in the 1960s, "Llewyn Davis" stars Oscar Isaac as the title character and includes Justin Timberlake flexing both his acting and singing muscles. "Llewyn Davis" had the second largest per-theater-average opening for an independent movie this year, behind Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," with a $402,000 debut.
The first weekend after Thanksgiving is typically slow at the box office. Disney/Pixar's monster hit "Toy Story 2" previously held the post-Thanksgiving box-office record with $27.8 million, a spot it's now given up to The Mouse House's "Frozen." As Box Office Mojo pointed out, the 53 percent drop for "Frozen" was an improvement over the 56 percent decline of Disney's 2010 animated musical, "Tangled."
"Catching Fire" dropped 64 percent, which is worse than the last two "Twilight" movies during the same period. "The Hunger Games" franchise has proven bigger than "The Twilight Saga" already, however. As an added bonus, "Catching Fire" is playing much bigger overseas than last year's franchise kickoff, "The Hunger Games." The sequel remained #1 for a third consecutive weekend internationally, where Katniss Everdeen and crew have added $336.7 million to the $673.4 million worldwide total of "Catching Fire."
"Frozen" has made $55.9 million overseas over the past two weeks, with a few key markets still waiting for the picture to arrive. Disney had three movies in the Top 5 domestically over the weekend, with "Thor: The Dark World" inching closer to the $200 million mark domestically at #4 with $4.7 million. The second solo outing from Marvel's hammer-wielding Avenger has made $610.3 million worldwide.
The weekend's fifth-place movie features an "Avengers" veteran as well. Cobie Smulders plays the love interest for Vince Vaughn in "Delivery Man," which made $3.8 million for three-week total of $24.7 million. French-Canadian writer/director Ken Scott earned much better reviews for the original version, "Starbuck," than the Americanized remake. Still, the movie has already earned back its $26 million production budget.
Both "Frozen" and "Catching Fire" will have to get out of the way for "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug," this weekend's biggest new release. "Tyler Perry's Madea Christmas" hits theaters as well, along with Tom Hanks' "Saving Mr. Banks." Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale will have another movie in theaters, too. "American Hustle" reunites Bale with "The Fighter" filmmaker David O. Russell.