Sometimes we don’t want something new. Sometimes, during Christmas, kids open their presents, take a quick glance at their shiny new toys and pick up a doll that was made sometime during the Nixon administration.
This weekend’s box office was a little like that.
Frozen II once again escaped a tangled field and became this weekend’s belle of the ball, banking an estimated $34.7 million stateside. That’s Frozen II’s third-straight win, by the way. And it more than doubled the take of its nearest competitor, suggesting the film is still smelling as fresh as a jasmine.
Frozen II is entering some rarified air these days. Even the original, game-changing Frozen was, at this point in its run, a sleeping beauty by comparison. Three weeks after its release, the first Frozen had banked a mere $134.3 million in North America. Frozen II’s domestic bottom line now stands at $337.6 million—more than $200 million more than the original. With Frozen II passing Joker in 2019’s top-grossing-movies list, Disney now owns six of the year’s seven most lucrative films. The lone outlier? Sony’s Spider-Man: Far from Home, which (courtesy Spidey’s Avengers connection) has plenty of Disney DNA itself.
Lump in the movie’s overseas grosses, and the numbers look even more impressive. Overall, Frozen II has earned $920 million, and Box Office Mojo says it’s only a matter of time before it becomes Disney’s sixth movie this year to collect $1 billion or more.
A quartet of awards-season dark horses round out the weekend’s top five.
Director Rian Johnson’s whodunit Knives Out finished second to Frozen II for the second week, parlaying its all-star cast and strong word-of-mouth to another $14.2 million. That’s not exactly a killing, but it’s certainly enough cash to polish the candlesticks in the conservatory.
Ford v Ferrari is showing some serious legs—er, wheels—of its own. The historical drama collected $6.5 million this weekend and has finished in the top three for four consecutive weekends now. Meanwhile, Queen & Slim and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood swapped places: Queen earned $6.5 million for fourth, while A Beautiful Day banked another $5.2 million to finish fifth.
The only movie that was close to being a new release and also close to the top five was Dark Waters, an environmentally themed docudrama starring Mark Ruffalo. It expanded its theater count dramatically this weekend and parlayed all those extra screens to a $4.1 million, sixth-place performance.
Playmobil: The Movie—the weekend’s only true new release—performed far, far worse. Its $660,000 opening weekend puts it in the record books for all the wrong reasons: It’s the third-worst debut ever for such a wide release, trailing only 2012’s The Oogieloves in the Big Ballooon Adventure and 2008’s Delgo in that less-than-illustrious class.