Disney's "Frozen 2" iced out the box office competition in North America, where family audiences powered the animated adventure to a dazzling 130-million-U.S.-dollar debut.
The sequel kicked off above expectations ahead of Thanksgiving, which should parlay into an especially lucrative holiday frame. "Frozen 2" set a November record for an animated film and stands as the biggest opening ever for Walt Disney Animation (not including Pixar). It's also the first animated movie to hit triple digits in its debut outside of summer.
Overseas, the animated adventure generated 223 million U.S. dollars for a massive global start of 350 million U.S. dollars.
The first "Frozen" launched before Thanksgiving in 2013, collecting 93 million U.S. dollars during its first five days in theaters. Brimming with hits like "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" and "Let It Go" that have since become classics, the original film became a certified sensation and still stands as the highest-grossing animated movie in history with 1.3 billion U.S. dollars in global ticket sales.
"Frozen 2" received a slightly less enthusiastic, though still glowing, reception from audiences, who awarded it an A- CinemaScore compared to "Frozen's" A+.
In "Frozen 2," Princesses Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) reunite with Kristoff (Jonathan Gross) and Olaf (Josh Gad), to embark on an adventure beyond Arendelle to find out why Elsa was born with magical powers. The follow-up sees the return of directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, as well as original songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
Also new to multiplexes, Sony's "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" kicked off in third place with 13.5 million U.S. dollars from 3,235 theaters, a solid start given its 25-million-U.S.-dollar price tag. Box office pundits expect the feel-good film will enjoy a long run in theaters over the holidays.
Tom Hanks stars as Fred Rogers in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," a biographical drama chronicling the real-life friendship between the beloved TV personality and journalist Tom Junod (portrayed by Matthew Rhys). Marielle Heller ("Can You Ever Forgive Me?") directed the movie, inspired by Junod's Esquire article "Can You Say... Hero?"
STX's "21 Bridges," a suspense thriller starring Chadwick Boseman, followed behind at No. 4 with 9.2 million U.S. dollars from 2,665 venues. Produced by the Russo brothers, the film attracted a mostly older male audience and earned a B+ CinemaScore. Over 50 percent of ticket buyers were male, while 75 percent were over the age of 25.
"21 Bridges" follows NYPD detective (Boseman) who closes down every bridge in Manhattan as part of a citywide manhunt after a drug heist gone wrong. It carries a 33-million-U.S.-dollar budget.
This weekend was an undisputed win for Disney as "Ford v Ferrari" finishes its sophomore outing in second place, collecting 16 million U.S. dollars for a domestic tally of 57 million U.S. dollars.
Rounding out the top five, Lionsgate's war drama "Midway" earned 4.6 million U.S. dollars in its third frame, boosting North American ticket sales to 43 million U.S. dollars.
(Cover: Josh Gad, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck and Peter Del Vecho attend the European premiere of "Frozen 2" in London, Britain, November 17, 2019. /Reuters Photo)