Hunger Games Catching Fire

Holdover pair expected to reach $30 million each potentially

A pair of holdovers, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Frozen,” look to heat up what is historically a chilly weekend at the domestic box office. The pair are expected to gross somewhere in the high-$20 millions, low-$30 millions each after fueling a record-setting Thanksgiving B.O. feast last weekend.

“Frozen” might have a slight edge over “Hunger Games” given the toon’s broad family appeal.

The only new release will be Relativity Media’s revenge drama “Out of the Furnace,” starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson. Pic, which bowed Wednesday at four locations and expands nationwide on Friday, is expected to gross $6 million-$8 million, a decent start for the modestly budgeted film.

SEE ALSO: Christian Bale: Reluctant Movie Star Talks ‘Furnace,’ ‘Hustle’

In limited release, CBS Films opens the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” at four Stateside engagements in New York and L.A. The film, which premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, has been picking up early accolades including best film at the Gotham Awards.

This time last year, holdovers “Skyfall” and “Rise of the Guardians” topped the box office, with just north of $10 million. Since Thanksgiving fell later this year, this weekend will see larger post-holiday grosses.

“Catching Fire” already has amassed a whopping $583 million worldwide, of which $306 million comes from Stateside plexes, making it now the year’s third-highest grossing film.

“Frozen,” meanwhile, reached the $100 million mark at the domestic box office on Wednesday. Disney expands the film in major overseas markets including France, the U.K. and Russia this weekend.

The domestic holds for both “Catching Fire” and “Frozen” are based on past comparisons: For the former film, it’s expected to fall this weekend around 48%, a comparable drop to last year’s “Twilight” finale in its fourth frame. “Frozen” should hold similarly to “Tangled,” which was off 56% in its second weekend of wide release in 2010.

Both could see better-than-expected drops, since they have stronger audience reaction than either of their respective comps. Plus, with only the R-rated “Out of the Furnace” attracting a mostly older adult crowd, there is less competition overall.

The box office should light up again next weekend when Warner Bros. and New Line launch Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” sequel “The Desolation of Smaug,” which early tracking suggests will gross close to $80 million domestically in three days. “Smaug” bows alongside only “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas,” from Lionsgate.

Bowing

Film (Distributor): Locations

  • Out of the Furnace* (Relativity): 2,101
  • Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films): 4

*Friday count; pic bowed Wednesday at four locations

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