‘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)

$125m (5-day)

2 New! Knives Out Lionsgate $81m $26.8m (3-day)

$41.4m (5-day)

3 2 Ford v. Ferrari 20th Century Fox $81m $13.2m (3-day)

$19m (5-day)

4 New! Queen & Slim Universal $16m $11.9m (3-day)

$16m (5-day)

5 3 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Sony $34.3m $11.8m (3-day)

$17.3m (5-day)

6 4 21 Bridges STX $20.5m $5.6m (3-day)

$7.7m (5-day)

7 6 Playing with Fire Paramount $39.2m $4.2m (3-day)

$6.1m (5-day)

8 5 Midway Lionsgate $50.2m $3.9m (3-day)

$5.7m (5-day)

9 9 Last Christmas Universal $31.7m $2m (3-day)

$2.9m (5-day)

10 10 Joker Warner Bros $350.5m $2m (3-day)

$2.8m (5-day)


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