Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Frozen's $34.67 Million Pushes Disney to Record $10 Billion Year

Plus, Knives Out continues to slay as Playmobil: The Movie crashes on the weekend of December 6-8.

by | December 8, 2019 | Comments

The post-Thanksgiving drop at the box office is a real thing. The industry mostly avoids opening its choice titles this weekend, tending to dump some of their turkey leftovers into theaters while moviegoers either play catch-up or wait for the next round of big holiday releases. The big stories this week revolve around animated titles: one continuing to climb up the all-time–record charts and a new release that is setting a milestone at the other end of the spectrum.


King of the Crop: Frozen II Takes Disney Into Unknown Territory – the first ever $10 Billion Year for a Studio

Walt Disney Studios
(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

Disney’s Frozen II, to no one’s surprise, continued to lead the way with another $34.6 million this weekend. That is the best number 1 opening for the first weekend of December since… well, Frozen. The original Frozen grossed $34.67 million in its post-Thanksgiving weekend. The all-time first-weekend champion in December is Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven, which started with $38.1 million. Frozen II’s also number amounted to the 26th-best third weekend in history and its $337.5 million is the 19th-best ever after 17 days of release. Every film that has grossed at least $320 million in that period has passed the $400 million mark. Frozen II is about $2 million ahead of the pace of where The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was in 2013, which finished its run with $424 million, but it is had a third weekend about $8 million higher. A final tally in the $450 million region is still in the cards domestically. Worldwide the film has passed $919 million and it is personally going to get Disney to $10 billion in global ticket sales this week – the first time a studio has ever reached that mark in a calendar year.


Rotten Returns: Playmobil: The Movie Fails to Crack $1 Million  

In 2017, Open Road released The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature (13% on the Tomatometer). It currently owns the record for lowest-grossing opening weekend for a film released in over 4,000 theaters ($8.34 million). This year, STX released the animated UglyDolls (27% on the Tomatometer) into 3,652 theaters; it opened to $8.6 million. Open Road became Global Road and quickly dissolved. One of its last releases was to be Playmobil: The Movie (19% on the Tomatometer), which, despite getting some overseas play (to the tune of $12.4 million), was delayed and delayed here in the States. The animated film was eventually picked up by, you guessed it, STX Films, and was finally put into theaters this weekend. It grossed a grand total of $660,000. Not since the December 2008 release of Delgo have we seen a film open on over 2,000 screens and not gross $1 million. Here are the 10 worst openings of that group:

  • Delgo ($511,920 / 2,160 theaters) – $237 per-theater-average
  • Playmobil: The Movie ($660,000 / 2,337) – $282 PTA
  • Jem and the Holograms ($1.37 million / 2,413) – $570 PTA
  • Rock the Kasbah ($1.47 / 2,012) – $731 PTA
  • Collide ($1.51 / 2,045) – $740 PTA
  • We Are Your Friends ($1.76 / 2,333) – $758 PTA
  • Friend Request ($2.00 / 2,573) – $778 PTA
  • Morgan ($2.01 / 2,020) – $996 PTA
  • P2 ($2.083 / 2,131) – $978 PTA
  • Major League: Back to the Minors ($2.087 / 2,322) – $899 PTA

Thankfully for STX, this is just a pick-up release and it is not responsible for the film’s $75 million budget. Yes: $75 million. That makes it easily one of the biggest losers of the year, but it will live in infamy for years to come on that chart above.


The Top 10 and Beyond: Knives Out On Pace With FerrariJoker Moves Up the Record Books Again 

Rian Johnson’s murder mystery, Knives Out, dropped 47% to $14.1 million this week. Its total of $63.49 million continues to keep it on a $100 million pace, but it needs to maintain word-of-mouth as the film is running about neck-and-neck with Ford v Ferrari. James Mangold’s racing drama had $62 million after its first 12 days, but had a second weekend of $15.7 million, besting Knives. Ford increased its haul to $91 million this weekend with another $6.54 million. Its final domestic gross is on pace for somewhere between $102-$113 million, but it will still need around another $75-$80 million internationally to break even. Knives Out has made $124 million worldwide to date and is already easily into profit for Lionsgate.

Last week’s other big release, Queen & Slim, is just outpacing the release of Burlesque back in 2010, which had $26.98 million after 12 days of release and had a second weekend gross of $6.13 million. Queen & Slim’s second weekend was $6.53 million and it has grossed $26.89 million domestically so far. Burlesque finished with $39.44 million. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is underperforming a bit, but mostly compared to our hopeful expectations for it. With $43.12 million through its third weekend the film is just outpacing Roland Emmerich’s Midway, which is up to $53.4 million in its fifth weekend – but with only $108 million worldwide it is going to struggle to break even give its budget. The Mr. Rogers drama with Tom Hanks is now looking at $55-$60 million during its run, which is still going to result in a multiple over 4x since its opening weekend, which is better than any November wide release this year. If this comes to pass it will also be only the fourth film of 2019 to open on a Friday and gross more than four times its opening weekend after The Upside, Yesterday, and Overcomer.

Todd Haynes’ Dark Waters with Mark Ruffalo expanded into wide release this week (94-to-2,012 theaters) and grossed $4.1 million, which is not a particularly strong number. Just last year Focus moved the RBG biopic, On the Basis of Sex, from 112-to-1,923 theaters in its third weekend and it grossed $6.07 million. That is about the most favorable comparison we can make for the environmental drama – though it is one to watch, as its Audience Score is a very high 96%. Its $4.1 million is certainly a better number than Amazon’s The Aeronauts put up this weekend. In 50 theaters the hot air balloon weather adventure grossed just $30,000. That is worse than Noah Hawley’s Lucy in the Sky, which opened to $54,058 in 37 theaters this October. NEON’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire was the big per-theater-average winner this week, grossing $67,105 in just two theaters. That is the 16th-best PTA of 2019. The top 20 PTAs of the year have each grossed at least $2 million. Parasite meanwhile is now NEON’s second-highest grossing movie after I, Tonya, with $19.34 million. Finally, Joker has passed this year’s Aladdin for 34th place on the all-time chart with $1.051 billion.


This Time Last Year: A Re-Release Over-performs as the top 10 Remains Unchanged

Schindler's List
(Photo by Courtesy Everett Collection)

The big new release of the weekend was actually a re-release. Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List was put back into 1,029 theaters for its 25th anniversary, and while it did not make the top 10, it did gross $566,750 over the weekend. Beyond that it was business as usual as the same 10 films led the way with the top six films all remaining in the same spots. Ralph Breaks the Internet led for a third straight week with $16.25 million. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch was not far behind with $15.03 million. Creed II dropped to $9.9 million in third place. The top 10 films of the week grossed just $73.87 million and averaged the same 61.4% on the Tomatometer as the week prior. This year’s top 10 grossed an estimated $79.04 million and averaged 72.1% with critics.


On the Vine: Jumanji Is Back, Along with a Slew of Awards Hopefuls

Jumanji: The Next level
(Photo by Frank Masi /© Columbia Pictures)

Theaters get crowded again next week with some major new releases hoping for bucks, awards, or even both. Leading the crowd in the bucks department will no doubt be Jumanji: The Next Level, which brings back the gang from the smash 2017 hit and is hoping to earn a large piece of the holiday box office. Clint Eastwood had a solid December hit last year with The Mule, and now turns to another true-crime tale with Richard Jewell (88% on the Tomatometer), about the 2006 bombing at the Atlanta Olympics and the innocent man who was accused of it. Then Universal is taking another stab at horror for the holidays with a second remake of Bob Clark’s Black Christmas. But wait, we’re not nearly done. Opening in limited release is Jay Roach’s Bombshell, about the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News. Adam Sandler teams up with the Safdie Brothers for the anxiety-raising Uncut Gems (96% on the Tomatometer), for which many are touting Sandler for an Oscar nomination. Then there is Terrence Malick’s WWII drama, A Hidden Life (80% on the Tomatometer), about a conscientious Nazi objector, and Kristen Stewart steps into the role of Jean Severg in Seberg (46%), which details how investigations into the actress’s activism destroyed her life.


The Full Top 10: December 6-8

  1. Frozen II (2019) 77% – $34.67 million ($337.6 million total)
  2. Knives Out (2019) 97% – $14.15 million ($63.49 million total)
  3. Ford v Ferrari (2019) 92% – $6.54 million ($91.11 million total)
  4. Queen & Slim (2019) 82% – $6.53 million ($26.89 million total)
  5. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) 95% – $5.2 million ($43.12 million total)
  6. Dark Waters (2019) 90% – $4.1 million ($5.28 million total)
  7. 21 Bridges (2019) 53% – $2.88 million ($23.93 million total)
  8. Playing with Fire (2019) 22% – $2 million ($41.98 million total)
  9. Midway (2019) 41% – $1.94 million ($53.4 million total)
  10. Joker (2019) 68% – $1.04 million ($332.14 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

richard e. Grant miniseries boxoffice stoner Mary Poppins Returns Rocketman Animation crime thriller Fall TV Disney+ Disney Plus USA Network Mary poppins Video Games Amazon Comics on TV Family 24 frames zombie VOD slashers Adult Swim Ghostbusters animated Pride Month SDCC Musicals romantic comedy period drama DGA zombies Marathons video Logo First Reviews Baby Yoda singing competition Hulu Women's History Month Turner Classic Movies Infographic ESPN latino Stephen King Ellie Kemper sitcom psychological thriller President Lifetime Captain marvel ABC Family golden globes El Rey YouTube Premium spider-man RT History Fox News ABC kids anime indiana jones supernatural crossover talk show Television Academy twilight unscripted Sundance Now 2017 Fantasy Mary Tyler Moore strong female leads toy story spinoff Hear Us Out American Society of Cinematographers Grammys thriller anthology Syfy Extras police drama doctor who Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hispanic cancelled television Food Network what to watch San Diego Comic-Con independent Superheroe directors classics 71st Emmy Awards nature Universal Marvel Studios Valentine's Day Pop romance asian-american HBO Max Amazon Studios Lionsgate cinemax Tarantino Winners Writers Guild of America History Box Office Marvel Amazon Prime Comic Book sequel CNN Comedy Central Emmys reviews DirecTV Reality Competition Action Epix cancelled TV shows breaking bad Avengers Disney indie MSNBC HBO Binge Guide NYCC teaser harry potter comics National Geographic Sundance Rock streaming 45 spy thriller A24 20th Century Fox Emmy Nominations 007 Britbox Elton John criterion obituary versus Paramount Network adventure Academy Awards Tomatazos zero dark thirty discovery Spike BBC CMT Lucasfilm FX WarnerMedia Sneak Peek jamie lee curtis Country transformers hist elevated horror crime drama composers screenings Disney streaming service series Bravo a nightmare on elm street AMC revenge Paramount satire OneApp facebook finale cooking RT21 casting sports films Shondaland Hallmark Christmas movies FX on Hulu MTV documentaries BET The Purge Netflix Star Wars based on movie documentary The Witch historical drama cancelled 2019 canceled joker Election TruTV Spectrum Originals Hallmark Tubi Nominations A&E Endgame Nickelodeon Walt Disney Pictures Comedy Showtime docudrama adaptation Shudder christmas movies Biopics mockumentary science fiction Trophy Talk IFC Films witnail TLC name the review green book 21st Century Fox DC streaming service BBC One dceu X-Men television cults theme song game of thrones child's play Esquire Winter TV serial killer tv talk halloween disaster CBS 2016 Character Guide TCM NBC Disney Channel fast and furious aliens comic Turner Acorn TV Brie Larson 72 Emmy Awards justice league parents Holiday YA quibi Western Starz foreign Netflix Christmas movies TV Land The CW PlayStation TBS mutant all-time technology Musical Funimation ratings Awards Tour Mudbound scary movies Chernobyl spanish language nbcuniversal Reality TCA Awards LGBT Tumblr comiccon DC Universe spain reboot Red Carpet festivals Certified Fresh GIFs WGN Mystery cancelled TV series TCA Winter 2020 SXSW free movies The Walking Dead Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Apple movies YouTube children's TV OWN Song of Ice and Fire emmy awards biography critics YouTube Red Star Trek Super Bowl Peacock Rom-Com social media PBS TV renewals Set visit Interview dogs Best and Worst Year in Review VH1 PaleyFest Freeform Apple TV Plus Summer VICE south america TCA Anna Paquin dark TCA 2017 Sci-Fi New York Comic Con Spring TV First Look Trailer Toys Heroines diversity 4/20 CW Seed Film Columbia Pictures blockbuster Sundance TV Warner Bros. TNT best MCU E! Rocky werewolf Discovery Channel Creative Arts Emmys Music CBS All Access Polls and Games news Film Festival The Arrangement worst movie laika 2018 Lifetime Christmas movies political drama Television Critics Association vampires canceled TV shows Black History Month GLAAD game show SundanceTV Awards batman Schedule Crackle franchise cats binge ITV Cartoon Network Sony Pictures Travel Channel dramedy HBO Go Marvel Television TIFF FXX Oscars Classic Film Superheroes Teen dragons ghosts war cartoon Drama APB Opinion Cannes hollywood rotten book Vudu comedies Dark Horse Comics BBC America Disney Plus Pixar Kids & Family 2015 Christmas Holidays cops Calendar GoT See It Skip It cars Watching Series Pop TV Crunchyroll LGBTQ Pet Sematary Photos sag awards Nat Geo Arrowverse BET Awards stop motion travel award winner Mindy Kaling Martial Arts Masterpiece universal monsters true crime Pirates Quiz E3 natural history Podcast rotten movies we love TV BAFTA USA politics Amazon Prime Video mission: impossible crime concert renewed TV shows die hard screen actors guild medical drama Premiere Dates dc Ovation chucky FOX stand-up comedy Countdown DC Comics IFC Thanksgiving psycho Black Mirror blaxploitation superhero Cosplay Horror video on demand robots Trivia space 2020 Apple TV+