Cartoons at the box office: “Frozen” earns plenty of cold cash, “Free Birds” goes into free fall

FrozenThis Thanksgiving holiday weekend saw the top two contenders at the box office break multiple records.

The “Hunger Games” sequel “Catching Fire” managed to hold onto the #1 spot, earning $74.5 million and bringing its domestic total to $296.5 million. Box Office Mojo suggests it’ll cross over to $400 million without a problem.

However, while it debuted in second place, Disney’s “Frozen” managed to break various records of its own. The film earned $66.7 million at the box office, with a total to date of $93.3 million. Forbes notes even adjusted for inflation, this is second-most-successful non-Pixar Disney film debut ever (“The Lion King” still holds first place). Disney’s surely pleased at “Frozen”‘s results.

Also pleased are the producers of “Thor: The Dark World” and “The Best Man Holiday,” which claimed third and fourth places respectively. “Thor” earned another $11.1 million this weekend, bringing its total to $186.7 million. Meanwhile, “Holiday” earned $8.5 million, bringing its total to $63.4 million. Not bad for a “race-themed film.”

I’d note that out of the top five films this weekend, three star minorities or women, and also raked in huge piles of cash. This might be worth pointing out the next time someone in Hollywood or online claims “people don’t want to see films starring women/minorities.”

Meanwhile, “Free Birds” made a huge plummet. Granted, it lost screens, but it still managed to fall from fifth place last week to fifteenth place (a 66% drop), earning $1.8 million this weekend. This brings “Birds”‘s domestic box office total to $53.2 million. With a $55 million budget, it more or less breaks even, but still won’t shake off the pun-filled “turkey” labels. I suspect one reason “Frozen” did as well as it did (and “Free Birds”‘s free-fall) came from the lack of choices for children’s films in the past few months, other than “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.” Now that “Frozen” is out, there’s something most families will deem worth seeing at a movie theater (and not tied to a specific holiday like Thanksgiving). The poor reviews on Rotten Tomatoes might bear this out.

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