Let It Go. Let It Go.
Having children in the pop culture world we’ve constructed leads an adult with brains and eyes to not be too surprised when certain films become cultural phenomena: The Lego Movie, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, anything from Pixar, etc.
However, when animated kid-oriented sequels hit it big, then that’s when the cultural phenomena of kids’ films really demonstrates its power.
This weekend, with a dearth of films in the theaters, and with the two films that would have drawn in adults — Ford v Ferrari and Charlies’ Angels — having gone their separate ways, the field was wide open for a kids’ film to do well.
And Frozen 2 obliged and blew open the doors. From the trades:
Thanksgiving 2019 ends with Disney’s Frozen 2 collecting a 5-day estimate of $126.3M, the most ever for any film that has played the holiday –opener or holdover– besting Lionsgate’s 2013 Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($109.9M).
That’s a whole lotta crumb crunchers whose parents had nothing to do.
By the way, this puts Frozen 2 on track to be a billion-dollar film worldwide as it grossed close to $300 million dollars worldwide this weekend.
Yep. You read that right.
After Avengers: Endgame, Disney will have five of the six biggest worldwide grosses of 2019, including The Lion King, Toy Story 4, Captain Marvel and Aladdin.
Oh. Goody gumdrops.
Knives Out Did Better Than We Predicted
Then, there’s the adults.
We bagged mercilessly on Knives Out, and Rian Johnson’s endless shilling in the media and him taking potshots at all The Last Jedi “haters”—otherwise known from here on out as The True Fans—and, well, he brought it home for his puppet masters.
From the trades:
…it was a fantastic win for auteur-driven original IP from Lionsgate/Media Rights Capital’s Rian Johnson whodunit Knives Out, which is flying well ahead of its high $20Ms-$30M 5-day forecasts, with an estimated $41.7M (a number Lionsgate is also reporting).
Translation: Knives Out will pull north of $100 million for a film made on a $40 million budget, which means that—despite our best efforts here—Rian Johnson will be getting a lot more work in the immediate future.
Tracking Into The Holiday Season
Tracking into the holiday season, the whale known as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is looming out on the horizon, but next week will be a dead week for new film releases as Playmobile launches—good luck to all involved on that project.
The only other adult fare that matters, Ford v Ferrari, will continue to keep lapping its competition next week, Queen and Slim ($16 million dollars) and 21 Bridges ($20.4 million dollars) with nothing other than Knives Out in sight to dethrone it.
Keep watching the skies and we’ll keep tracking the numbers.