‘Knives Out’ and ‘Queen & Slim’ carve out Thanksgiving feast in record weekend for ‘Frozen 2’
For the 1st weekend in a month, both major releases were purely original films, but unlike ‘Countdown’ and ‘Black and Blue’ from October, ‘Knives Out’ and ‘Queen & Slim’ hit the ground running with especially strong starts. The 2 films earned a combined $60m over the 5-day Thanksgiving period but were overshadowed by ‘Frozen 2’s record-breaking $125m, that draws it ever closer to the $1bn mark.
How did the new releases get on?
We begin with Rian Johnson’s ‘Knives Out’, a murder-mystery produced, directed, and written by the ‘Last Jedi’ helmer, which opened to an impressive $41.4m across the 5-day Thanksgiving period – the 16th largest in Thanksgiving history. This opening includes the $27m earned over the usual 3-day weekend, making it Lionsgate’s biggest original opener since ‘Now You See Me’ in 2013, as well as the $2.1m earned from previews on the 22nd and 23rd of November.
Of course, this is all besides the real point: original films can still do well at the Box Office – and at a reasonable $40m cost. All you need is Captain America, James Bond, Laurie Strode, the guy behind a $1.3bn ‘Star Wars’ flick, and a bunch of other A-listers, 96% on the Tomatometer, and an A- on Cinemascore.
In all seriousness, ‘Knives Out’ joins a select few from 2019, including ‘Hustlers’ and its incredible $100m domestic performance, and ‘Good Boys’ with its $21m start, in showing that well-produced, quality movies don’t always require an IP to make bank. There’s no mystery to this one’s success, just mighty fine filmmaking.
Similarly, ‘Queen & Slim’ showed what could be done from an original, albeit smaller, standpoint, after it earned $16m across the 5-day period from just 1,700 cinemas. The $20m-budget film, starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith, grossed $12m between Friday and Saturday, in-line with pre-release forecasts and enough for a 5th place finish.
The romantic drama, which debuted at November’s AFI Fest and has already been touted as an awards hopeful, is said to be a modern-day adaptation of the story of Bonnie & Clyde, and follows the journey of Queen (Turner-Smith) and Slim (Kaluuya) escape the law after the death of a police officer. Audiences and critics alike agree that it’s an interesting take, bestowing an 84% approval rating on RT, and an A- on Cinemascore alike.
How did the others do?
Yet again, this weekend would be dominated by Disney, as ‘Frozen 2’ kept its spot atop the charts with a Thanksgiving record. By earning $86m between Friday and Sunday, and $125m from Wednesday, ‘Frozen 2’ smashed both the 3-day ($74.2m) and 5-day ($109.9m) records of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ 6 years ago.
‘Frozen 2’ now stands at a whopping $288.8m stateside, and internationally its numbers aren’t too bad either, with the film now past the $450m mark. This weekend saw yet another winning $164m from overseas countries, beating out the likes of ‘Knives Out’ ($28.3m) and ‘Ford v Ferrari’ ($10.2m). Its global total sits a little below $800m – is $2bn on the horizon?
Other notables from the weekend
• ‘Frozen 2’s record performance now sees Disney sit on over $3.2bn at the domestic Box Office, beating their $3.1bn record from last year.
• ‘Ford v. Ferrari’ sits just $4m away from being 20th Century Fox’s biggest domestic earner of the year, behind only ‘Alita: Battle Angel’.
• ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ dropped just 11% in its 2nd weekend – the 33rd smallest drop for a film released in over 3,000 cinemas ever.
• ‘Joker’ is now the 5th highest-grossing DC film of all time in the U.S., beating out ‘Batman v. Superman’ ($330.4m). Only ‘Aquaman’, ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, and ‘The Dark Knight’ are ahead.
• ‘Joker’ is also the 3rd biggest DC film globally, with $1.05bn.
|Rank||Last Week Rank||Film||STUDIO||Total U.S. Gross||Weekend Gross||Week number|
|1||1||Frozen 2||Disney||$288.8m||$86m (3-day)
|2||New!||Knives Out||Lionsgate||$81m||$26.8m (3-day)
|3||2||Ford v. Ferrari||20th Century Fox||$81m||$13.2m (3-day)
|4||New!||Queen & Slim||Universal||$16m||$11.9m (3-day)
|5||3||A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood||Sony||$34.3m||$11.8m (3-day)
|6||4||21 Bridges||STX||$20.5m||$5.6m (3-day)
|7||6||Playing with Fire||Paramount||$39.2m||$4.2m (3-day)
|9||9||Last Christmas||Universal||$31.7m||$2m (3-day)
|10||10||Joker||Warner Bros||$350.5m||$2m (3-day)