“Frozen 2” is gradually warming up the North American box office, with an estimated $37 million its third weekend at 4,440 sites, early estimates showed Friday.
Disney’s animated sequel is projected to decline about 57%. Should estimates hold, “Frozen 2” should finish the weekend with nearly $340 million domestically in it first 17 days.
With global box office at more than $740 million in its first two weeks, the latest adventures of Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf could become the sixth Disney movie (along with “Avengers: Endgame,” “Captain Marvel,” “Toy Story 4,” “Aladdin” and “The Lion King”) to cross $1 billion in 2019.
Lionsgate’s mystery comedy “Knives Out” is also showing plenty of pull at multiplexes with another $14 million in its second weekend, giving it around $62 million in its first dozen days.
The film, produced by Lionsgate, MRC and T-Street for about $40 million, received an A- Cinemascore and a 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The star-laden cast includes Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette and LaKeith Stanfield.
Animated adventure “Playmobil: The Movie” is tanking, with early projections showing less than $1 million at 2,300 locations in North America.
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The family film, based on the European toy brand, had been pegged for a soft start in the low single digits. The movie cost $75 million and was co-financed by Wild Bunch, Pathe, Dimitri Rassam and the Paris-based On Animation. STX is distributing the film in North America and doesn’t have a financial stake. Directed by Lino DiSalvo, “Playmobil” follows a young woman who embarks on a mission to find her missing younger brother.
Holdovers including Disney-Fox’s fourth frame of “Ford v Ferrari,” Sony’s third weekend of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and Universal’s second session of “Queen & Slim” are battling for third place in the $5 million to $6 million range. “Ford v Ferrari” should hit $90 million by the end of the weekend.
Focus Features is expanding “Dark Waters” nationwide to over 2,000 theaters after two weeks in limited release. Todd Haynes’ legal drama starring Mark Ruffalo has picked up $1 million to date and is projected to finish the weekend with around $4 million.
The 2019 North American box office trails last year by 5.8% with $10.28 billion as of Dec. 4, according to Comscore.
“A relatively quiet weekend is in the cards, acting as the calm before the proverbial box-office storm that will come in the form of a strong slate of films on the docket for mid-December that will lead into a ‘Star Wars’ enhanced end-of-year push that should see the year-to-date deficit drop amidst a strong wave of excitement at the multiplex,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore.
The holiday movie season will kick into gear on Dec. 13 with “Jumanji: The Next Level,” “Richard Jewell,” “Black Christmas,” “Bombshell,” and “Uncut Gems” opening. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is expected to dominate moviegoing for the rest of the year when it launches on Dec. 20.