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'Frozen' Freezes 'Catching Fire' at the Box Office

Plus: 'Inside Llewyn Davis' strikes early sparks

'Frozen'
Disney
December 8, 2013 2:07 PM ET

WINNER OF THE WEEK: Estrogen. Female-driven movies sold nearly $60 million worth of tickets this weekend. The princesses of Frozen snowballed past the gladiators of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, ending the latter's two-week chart reign, but both movies did ridiculously well, with Frozen grabbing an estimated $31.6 million and Catching Fire an estimated $27.0 million. After two weekends in wide release, that amounts to $134.3 million for Frozen, while three-week-old Catching Fire boasts a total of $336.7 million so far.

LOSER OF THE WEEK: Testosterone. The weekend after Thanksgiving weekend tends to be a dead spot for new releases, but someone has to be the sacrificial lamb, and this year, it was Out of the Furnace, the small-town revenge thriller starring Christian Bale and Woody Harrelson. It did okay, opening in third place with an estimated $5.3 million. That's about in the middle of the wide range of predictions for the film (from $4 to $7 million), but it's not that great for a movie with this kind of star power and some modest awards-season buzz. Weak word-of-mouth (measured by a C+ grade from CinemaScore) didn't help, nor did the fact that the similar Homefront opened just last week (it's still hanging in there, in sixth place, with an estimated $3.4 million.) Plus, Bale fans know that American Hustle is the Bale film to see this month, so maybe they're holding out until that opens next weekend.

See Which Movies Make Peter Travers' List of November's Most Atrocious

Add the meager takes for Thor: The Dark World (in fourth place, with an estimated $4.7 million in its fifth weekend) and Delivery Man (at Number Five with an estimated $3.8 million after three weeks), and you might even get the sense that macho movies are not what's driving the market at the multiplex these days.

'INSIDE' STORY: The Coen brothers' much-touted Inside Llewyn Davis opened on just four screens this weekend, but it grossed an astounding $100,250 on each of them, for an estimated total of $401,000. Not that anyone's predicting blockbuster numbers for the folk-singer film when it opens wide (while critics adore it, it's hardly the kind of crowd-pleaser that the Coens' last film, True Grit, was), but a per-screen average that huge is a great start.

The suddenly and sadly timely biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is also playing on four screens; in its second week, it earned an estimated $77,700, or $19,425 per screen. That's still a strong per-venue average; every other movie currently playing earned less than $10,000 per screen this weekend.

Some awards hopefuls are still expanding into wider release, including The Book Thief (Number Seven this week, with an estimated $2.7 million) and Dallas Buyers Club (cracking the top 10 this week in tenth place with an estimated $1.5 million). Then there's Lee Daniels' The Butler, which has been playing since August but added 936 screens this weekend (up from 71 last week) in hopes of sweeping up some awards-season cash. The ploy failed, and the film earned just an estimated $260,000, or a measly $258 per theater. Guess The Butler will just have to settle for being a $115.9 million smash.

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