Box Office: 'Out of the Furnace' Struggles Friday; 'Catching Fire,' 'Frozen' Still Ablaze

3:39 PM PST 12/06/2013 by Pamela McClintock
Relativity Media
"Out of the Furnace"

The gritty thriller stars Christian Bale and Casey Affleck; bipioc "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" enjoys a strong hold.

Scott Cooper's gritty thriller Out of the Furnace is proving no match for holdovers The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and animated entry Frozen at the Friday box office.

Out of the Furnace, produced by Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio for Relativity Media, may have trouble hitting $6 million or $7 million in its nationwide debut despite a strong ensemble cast led by Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson and Casey Affleck.

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That would mark the worst opening for a Bale film debuting in more than 2,000 theaters. Receiving generally good to mixed reviews, Furnace cost $22 million to make, minimizing Relativity's financial risk.

The thriller stars Bale as a blue-collar worker in Pennsylvania who must rescue his brother (Affleck), an Iraq War veteran caught up with a ruthless crime ring. Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard also star. Cooper (Crazy Heart) wrote the script with Brad Ingelsby.

Scott and DiCaprio, via his company Appian Way, produced Out of the Furnace alongside Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Relativity chief Ryan Kavanaugh and Michael Costigan.

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Catching Fire is expected to stay at No. 1 in its third weekend with a gross in the $35 million range. The sequel has grossed north of $307 million domestically and north of $600 million worldwide. (The first film took in $691 million in all.)

Frozen, sporting the top Thanksgiving opening of all time for a Walt Disney Animation Studios title, could earn $31 million or better in its second outing.

The high-profile opening at the specialty box office is Joel and Ethan Coen's latest outing, Inside Llewyn Davis, which was named best picture earlier this week at the Gotham Awards. From CBS Films, the critically acclaimed film opens in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Produced by Scott Rudin, Inside Llewyn Davis stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman and Garrett Hedlund.

Among holdovers, biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is enjoying a strong hold on its second Friday, one day after Nelson Mandela died in South Africa. From The Weinstein Co., Mandela is playing in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles and stars Idris Elba as the iconic civil rights leader.

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