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Frozen replaces Hunger at No. 1

By BEN LIVESEY AND SARIKA GANGAR BLOOMBERG

This article was published December 13, 2013 at 3:27 a.m.

m-216-left-to-right-forest-whitaker-and-christian-bale-star-in-relativity-medias-out-of-the-furnace-photo-credit-kerry-hayes-2012-relativity-media

M 216 (Left to right.) Forest Whitaker and Christian Bale star in Relativity Media’s Out of the Furnace. Photo Credit: Kerry Hayes © 2012 Relativity Media.

Frozen, the animated film from Walt Disney Co., placed first in U.S. and Canadian theaters last weekend, collecting $31.6 million in weekend ticket sales and toppling The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which had held the top spot for two weeks.

Frozen, the umpteenth remake of The Snow Queen, about two estranged princesses in an icy world, moved up to the top spot in its second weekend of wide release after placing second two weeks ago. Catching Fire, from Lionsgate Entertainment Corp., collected about $26 million, Rentrak Corp. said.

A Disney feature that opened in wide release on Thanksgiving weekend, Frozen marks another success for the company’s animation studios, which won over holiday film fans in recent years with Tangled in 2010 and Wreck-It Ralph in 2012.

Frozen has taken in $190.2 million globally since its Nov. 22 debut in one theater, according to Rentrak. Sales of the film, along with two Marvel movies, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, put Disney third in U.S. sales with $1.47 billion as of Dec. 1 after Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. and Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures.

The movie was made for $150 million, according to the estimate of Box Office Mojo. It was projected to collect $30.5 million last weekend, according to BoxOffice.com.

Catching Fire, the sequel to the 2012 film about teens fighting to the death, had led U.S. and Canadian theaters since Nov. 22, savoring a lack of competition for young adult fans. It has taken in almost $336 million domestically, according to Rentrak. Today, Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second of three films planned from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

In the latest film, Jennifer Lawrence returns as the heroine Katniss Everdeen and inadvertently becomes part of a rebellion as she makes a victory tour of the fictional world Panem. Everdeen and her co-winner, Peeta Mellark, are forced to battle in another round of games.

Out of the Furnace, starring Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, the only movie opening in wide release last weekend, collected $5.2 million for Relativity Media, finishing third.

The blue-collar drama set in a depressed American steel town stars Bale as Russell Baze, an ex-con who finds his younger brother Rodney, a war veteran played by Affleck, has become a street fighter for a violent crime ring.

When Rodney disappears and law enforcement fails to follow through, Russell takes matters into his hands. Woody Harrelson and Willem Dafoe are also featured.

The film is directed by Scott Cooper, whose credits include 2009’s Crazy Heart with Jeff Bridges. The film got a 52 percent favorable rating on RottenTomatoes.com, which aggregates reviews. It was projected to take in $7 million, according to BoxOffice.com.

Among returning films, Thor: The Dark World, a superhero sequel from Disney’s Marvel studios, took in $4.8 million, to place fourth, down from third place the previous weekend.

Disney’s Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn as an underachiever who learns he fathered hundreds of children through sperm donations years earlier, took in about $3.7 million to place fifth, up from sixth the previous weekend.

MovieStyle, Pages 36 on 12/13/2013

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