Moviegoers feasted on a wide variety of movies over the Thanksgiving holiday in a needed boost for Hollywood and theater owners after a terrible November.
Walt Disney Animation’s tentpole Frozen 2 led the bounty with a record-shattering $123.7 million for the Wednesday-Sunday stretch, easily besting the $109.9 million grossed by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in 2013. (Most rivals believe Frozen 2 will come in between $126 million and $128 million when final numbers are tallied on Monday).
Frozen 2 marks the best Thanksgiving showing ever for a Disney animated film after besting the first Frozen, which earned $93.7 million for the five days in 2013. The sequel’s performance is all the more impressive for the fact that it opened last weekend, while Frozen didn’t unfurl nationwide until the Wednesday before the holiday.
Directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, Frozen 2 finished Sunday with a domestic total of $187.6 million and a staggering $738.6 million globally, including a second weekend foreign gross of $163.8 million. The sequel has already surpassed the total lifetime gross of Frozen in 11 markets, including China, where it has earned a huge $90.5 million to date.
After Frozen 2, the bounty was fueled by the sort of midrange adult-skewing films that studios are wary to make and release with the rise of streamers.
Rian Johnson’s star-studded whodunnit Knives Out was another huge Thanksgiving winner, grossing $41.7 million for the five days — nearly double expectations (the number includes roughly $3.7 million in preview grosses and sneaks). Overseas, it earned $28.3 million for an early global total of $70 million.
From Lionsgate and MRC, Knives Out turned in one of the best holiday performances in years for a live-action original film. (MRC shares a parent company, Valence Media, with The Hollywood Reporter.)
Knives Out, about a family gathering that goes horribly wrong when the clan’s patriarch turns up dead, stars Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell and Christopher Plummer. Johnson and Ram Bergman’s T-Street produced the $40 million film.
Universal and Makeready’s Queen & Slim likewise overperformed in its debut with $15.8 million for the five days.
Both Knives Out and Queen & Slim landed A- CinemaScores from audiences, as well as strong reviews and exits on PostTrak.
Queen & Slim, costing under $20 million to produce, stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith as a couple on their first date who are forced to go on the run after a traffic stop gone wrong. The R-rated adult drama was helmed by acclaimed music video director Melina Matsoukas in her feature directorial debut from a script by Lena Waithe
Holdovers Ford v Ferrari, now in its third outing, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which opened last weekend, also contributed to the holiday feast in a major way.
Ford v Ferrari, from Fox/Disney, placed fourth with $19 million for a domestic total of $81 million and $143.3 million globally.
Sony’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood took in $17.3 million for the five days for a North American total of $34.3 million.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.