‘Frozen 2’ leads box office again; ‘Playmobil’ flops

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GBnews24desk//

“Frozen 2” blanketed multiplexes for the third straight weekend, continuing its reign at No 1 with USD 34.7 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The Walt Disney Co. animated sequel has already grossed USD 919.7 million worldwide. It will soon become the sixth Disney release this year to cross USD 1 billion, a record sure to grow to seven once “Star Wars:

The Rise of Skywalker” hits theaters later this month. Early next week, Disney will cross USD10 billion at the global box office this year.

But the weekend overall at the box office was yet another disappointing one for the movie industry. A handful of under-performing releases and a relatively thin wide-release schedule hasn’t helped the 5.6% slide in domestic ticket sales from last year, according to data firm Comscore.

This weekend produced an outright flop in “Playmobil: The Movie,” the week’s only new wide release. The STX Films release was never expected to do well, but it bombed so thoroughly that it will rank among the worst-performing wide-releases ever. It grossed USD 668,000 in 2,337 venues, giving it a per-theater average of just USD 286.

A handful of companies combined to produce the USD 75 million French films, including Wild Bunch and Pathe.

The top five films were almost unchanged from last weekend.

Rian Johnson’s acclaimed, star-studded whodunit “Knives Out” remained in second place with USD14.2 million, declining a modest 47% in its second week of release. With USD 63.5 million cumulatively and USD124.1 million worldwide, the Lionsgate release has been one of the season’s bright spots.

So has James Mangold’s “Ford v Ferrari,” which stayed in third place with USD 6.5 million over its fourth weekend. The racing drama, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, has sped to a global take of USD168 million for Disney, which acquired the film’s original studio, 20th Century Fox, earlier this year. The film cost about USD100 million to make.

Melina Matsoukas’ outlaw romance “Queen & Slim” moved up to fourth in its second week with USD 6.5 million, swapping places with Marielle Heller’s Mister Rogers drama “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (USD 5.2 million in its third weekend).

Todd Haynes’ true-story legal drama “Dark Waters,” starring Mark Ruffalo as a defense attorney who takes on the DuPont chemical company, expanded nationwide to 2,011 theaters. The Focus Features release made USD 4.1 million.

Celine Sciamma’s acclaimed period romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” opened at two locations with a very strong USD 33,552 per-theater average. Neon will release the French film wider in February.

Some of the weekend’s most widespread movie watching may have been on Netflix, though the streaming service doesn’t disclose viewership tallies or box-office receipts.

After a three-week theatrical run, Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” one of the year’s most critically acclaimed films, began streaming Friday.

On Friday, Nielsen said Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” last weekend drew an average audience of 13.6 million viewers from November 27 to December 1. Netflix has said Nielsen numbers, which only estimate US viewership, reflect an incomplete picture.

Amazon likewise didn’t release ticket sales for “The Aeronauts,” which opened in 52 theaters over the weekend. Tom Harper’s film, which cost USD 40 million to make, stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones as 19th-century balloonists.

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