Box Office: 'Frozen' Scares Off 'Paranormal Activity' Spinoff, Hits $600 Million Globally
UPDATED: "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" still enjoys an OK opening to come in No. 2 despite nasty weather; "The Wolf of Wall Street" beats "American Hustle."
Disney's Frozen continued its remarkable ride at the box office on the first weekend of 2014, topping the chart in North America with $20.7 million and skating past the $600 million mark worldwide. The family tentpole, released at Thanksgiving, took in $52.5 million overseas from 49 markets for a world total of $639.9 million through Sunday.
It's virtually unheard of for a movie to rocket back to No. 1 more than six weeks into its run (the only other time Frozen placed No. 1 was over the Dec. 6-8 weekend). Frozen is now the most successful title of all time from Disney Animation Studios.
Placing No. 2 domestically was the weekend's only new release, Paramount's Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. The spinoff took in a solid $18.2 million but, like other films, took a bit of a hit because of bitterly cold weather in the Midwest and snow in the Northeast. Marked Ones opened below any of the Paranormal Activity movies.
But rotten weather or not, revenue was still on par with the same weekend last year, while 2014 revenue is up 5 percent over the first five days of 2013.
Overseas, Marked Ones did good business, debuting to $16.2 million from 24 markets and pacing ahead of fellow Paramount horror title The Devil Inside and New Line's The Conjuring in some markets. The U.K. led with $3.2 million, while France turned in a stellar $3.1 million. The film opened to $2 million in Mexico.
"It is a great expansion of the brand," said Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore.
Costing $5 million to make, The Marked Ones intends to launch its own franchise. Produced by Jason Blum and Oren Peli, the film stars Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz and Gabrielle Walsh. The pic received a C- CinemaScore, not entirely unusual for a horror film.
Written and directed by Christopher Landon, The Marked Ones explores the effects of demon possession and the cultural history of black magic rituals used to fight it.
For the crowded pack of holdovers, this weekend signaled an end to the lucrative year-end holidays. (Many people remained off of work and out of school last week).
Warner Bros.' The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug dominated for much of that time before falling to No. 3 this weekend with $16.3 million. The movie's domestic total is $229.6 million. Overseas, Peter Jackson's sequel once again ruled the chart, grossing $58 million from 62 markets and crossing the $500 million mark internationally for a global total of $756.6 million.
Paramount and Red Granite Pictures' The Wolf of Wall Street and fellow awards darling Sony's American Hustle -- rounding out the top five -- both have prospered over the holidays, building up sizable grosses.
From Martin Scorsese, Wolf narrowly beat David O. Russell's American Hustle this weekend, grossing $13.4 million for a 12-day domestic total of $63.2 million (Wolf opened Dec. 25).
Sony's American Hustle, expanding nationwide on Dec. 20, took in $13.2 million for a domestic total of $88.7 million.
It was a good weekend for Paramount all the way around as Will Ferrell comedy Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues crossed $100 million domestically (the first film made $85 million all in). Coming in No. 6, the sequel grossed $11.1 million for a North American total of $109.2 million.
Disney's Saving Mr. Banks placed No. 7 with $9.1 million for a pleasing domestic total of of $59.3 million.
Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, from 20th Century Fox, followed with $8.2 million for a North American cume of $45.7 million. Mitty crossed the $100 million mark worldwide after taking in $31.5 million from 56 markets for an international total of $69 million and global total of $114.7 million. The action-adventure opened to $4.8 million in Russia, while it has earned the most to date in the U.K. ($8.7 million).
November release The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has remained a contender throughout the holiday season. Over the weekend, the Lionsgate sequel came in No. 9 with $7.4 million, pushing its domestic total to $407.5 million. Within days, it will eclipse the $409 million grossed in North America by Iron Man 3 to become the top 2013 release (however, it doesn't stand a chance of overtaking the $1.2 billion earned by Iron Man 3 worldwide).
Warners' holiday comedy Grudge Match and Universal's 47 Ronin continued to falter over the weekend (both opened Dec. 25). Grudge Match came in No. 10 with $5.4 million for a domestic total of $24.9 million.
Placing No. 11, 47 Ronin took in $5 million for a domestic total of $32.6 million. Ronin did see a strong opening in Russia over the weekend, pushing its foreign total to $51.3 million and world total to $83.9 million, although that's still far short of what Universal needs to make up for the film's $175 million budget.
Justin Bieber's concert documentary was even more anemic, grossing $573,000 in its second weekend from 1,037 theaters for a total $6 million.