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Box Office: ‘Frozen’ Ices ‘Paranormal Activity’ with $21 Million Weekend

Hispanic-targeted pic sees lowest bow yet for the horror franchise

In a rare fifth-frame resurgence, Disney’s all-audience steamroller “Frozen” climbed back to the top of the domestic box office, estimating $20.7 million in three days, enough to beat Paramount’s Hispanic-targeted spin-off, “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,” which debuted with $18.2 million, the lowest opening for the franchise yet.

So far domestically, “Frozen,” which entered its sixth weekend of wide release, amassed $297.8 million, surpassing Warner Bros.’ “Man of Steel” as the fourth-largest release last year.

Overseas, the animated B.O. spectacle has reached $342.1 million after posting this weekend an estimated $52.5 million from 49 territories.

Warner Bros.-New Line’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” again won the weekend’s international crown, posting $58 million for an overseas cume of $527 million. Globally, the film, from MGM, crossed the $750 million mark this weekend.

While “The Marked Ones” saw a more modest Stateside start compared to the earlier “Paranormals,” the spin-off fell in line with previous horror films like “Paranormal 4” and “The Devil Inside” internationally, with $16.2 million from markets including the U.K. Germany, France and Mexico.

Also poised to move up in domestic B.O. standing is Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which has grossed $407.5 million Stateside through Sunday. Pic will eclipse Disney-Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” later in the week to become the top-grossing pic of 2013. (“Iron Man 3” topped out at just north of $409 million domestically.)

The first weekend of January historically has been occupied by a horror film, with such pics as “The Devil Inside” and “Texas Chainsaw 3D” overperforming in the past. The strategy behind slotting scarers this weekend is to provide relief from the onslaught of more serious adult-skewing dramas and family films programmed around the holidays.

That said, the overwhelming success of “Frozen” thus far speaks to the film becoming an all-audience crowdpleaser. It has stunted somewhat the domestic growth of Warner’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which grossed north of $16 million in its fourth week, for a cume of $229.6 million (nearly $30 million less than its predecessor at this time).

The last time a film reclaimed the top B.O. spot after five weeks was last year with “Skyfall.” Paramount-DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon” had a similar resurgence in spring 2010.

Paramount created “Marked Ones” per its usual low-budget strategy, spending just $5 million to produce the film. And while the film is as an off-shoot meant to target Hispanic audiences directly, Par vice chairman Rob Moore said the pic still had strong interest with non-Hispanics, especially overseas.

“What you saw from this performance is that the film still had universal interest with an additional pop in the Southwest United States,” Moore said. “It’s certainly a spectacular start internationally, as well as for a film with this budget.”

Domestic

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change

  1. Frozen (7): $20.7; 3,318; $6,245; $297.8; -28%
  2. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (1): $18.2; 2,867; $6,348; $18.2; —
  3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (4): $16.3; 3,730; $4,357; $229.6; -44%
  4. The Wolf of Wall Street (2): $13.4; 2,557; $5,241; $63.3; -27%
  5. American Hustle (4): $13.2; 2,518; $5,242; $88.7; -30%
  6. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (3): $11.1; 3,407; $3,258; $109.2; -44%
  7. Saving Mr. Banks (4): $9.1; 2,110; $4,292; $59.3; -33%
  8. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2): $8.2; 2,922; $2,806; $45.7; -36%
  9. Hunger Games … Fire (7):  $7.4; 2,143; $3,453; $407.5; -27%
  10. Grudge Match (2): $5.4; 2,856; $1,894; $24.9; -23%

Overseas

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Territories; Screens; Int’l cume*; Global cume*; Percentage change

  1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (4): $58.0; 62; 12,600; $527.0; $756.5; -41%
  2. Frozen (6): $52.5; 49; n/a; $342.1; $639.9; +4%
  3. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2): $31.5; 56; 7,024; $68.8; $114.5; +16%
  4. 47 Ronin (5): $20.5; 34; 3,304; $51.3; $83.9; +49%
  5. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (1): $16.2; 24; 2,400; $16.2; $34.4; —

*in millions of $

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