Based on how well it did opening weekend, there was a lot of talk that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire could challenge the 12 year old Thanksgiving record of the first Harry Potter movie. In the end it wasn’t just Catching Fire breaking records, but also Disney’s latest, Frozen.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is absolutely unstoppable at the box office after posting the 4th highest second weekend of all time, $74.1 million. That is up from the week before when Catching Fire had the 6th opening weekend ever. No on the matter of breaking records there’s a bit of explaining I must do. Because of Thanksgiving and just about everyone being on vacation in North America, movies tend to open on Wednesday that week. So for Hollywood that counts as a sort of longer 5-day weekend. Previously Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone for some) held the record for biggest 5-day (Wednesday to Sunday) of all time over Thanksgiving, specifically with $82.3 million way back in 2001. Now over the years many movies have come close, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005 being the closest, but it was not made to be, at least until now. With $109.9 million over 5 days The Hunger Games: Catching Fire obliterated Potter’s record and if that wasn’t enough, Frozen also posted $93.5 million over the same frame, moving the boy wizard down to 3rd.
So where does all this put The Hunger Games: Catching Fire right now? Well with $296.2 million in 10 days it is ahead of every other movie ever released, except The Avengers ($373 million) and The Dark Knight ($313.7 million). The Hunger Games is now in a very select club with the absolute highest grossing movies of all time. It is running ahead of Iron Man 3 ($284.9 million in 10 days), way ahead of The Hunger Games ($248.4 million in 10 days), and will burn past the $400 million mark on its way to become the biggest movie of 2013 at the Box Office, at least in North America. At this point it is a safe say that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will finish somewhere in the $430-450 million range, which is considerably more than the $408 million of the first film (and a lot more then everybody, including me, anticipated a week ago).
On to Frozen, a movie that seems to deserve just as much attention, after all it is the fastest selling Disney animation ever that wasn’t made by Pixar (important point there). With $67.3 million over the 3-day weekend and $93.5 million over the 5-day one, Frozen is outpacing Tangled ($68.7 million in 5 days) big time. Tangled ended up at $200.8 million so expect Frozen to gross considerably more. Now between Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled and now Frozen, all in the last 3 years, Walt Disney Animation Studios is definitely starting to give Pixar a run for its money both in quality and at the box office. But more on that another time.
Thor: The Dark World came in 3rd with $11 million for a total of $186.7 million so far. That’s more than the original Thor ($181 million) yet still a bit underwhelming. Regardless, the God of Thunder is good for another $20 million or more which should push it past the $200 million mark.
The Best Man Holiday was in 4th after bringing in $8.1 million. The sequel is now at $63 million or close to twice as much as the original ($34 million).
Rounding out the top 5 we have new release Homefront with only $6.9 million for the weekend or $9.7 million over 5 days. This Sylvester Stallone written and Jason Statham starring thriller came on the lower end of expectations.