'Catching Fire' Ignites Box Office, Surpasses Debut of 'Frozen'
Lions Gate (NYSE: LGF) won big at the box office last weekend, maintaining its lead with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
According to Reuters, Catching Fire earned an additional $110.2 million over the five-day period -- Wednesday, November 27 through Sunday, December 1.
Frozen, Disney's (NYSE: DIS) highly anticipated animated film, came in second place with a five-day total of $93 million.
Disney's Thor: The Dark World came in third with $15.5 million, followed by Universal's The Best Man Holiday with $11.1 million.
Homefront, a new action-thriller from Open Road Films, made it to fifth place with $9.8 million.
This Thanksgiving proved to be a much more impressive weekend for Hollywood than it did last year. While 2012 brought the release of Sony's Skyfall, Disney's Wreck-It Ralph and Lions Gates' The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, all of those films arrived before Thanksgiving. By the time the holiday arrived, millions of moviegoers had already seen them.
DreamWorks Animations' Rise of the Guardians, which opened just before Thanksgiving last year, earned only $32.3 million over the five-day period.
DreamWorks is expected to perform much better next summer when it releases the sequel to How to Train Your Dragon. The original film grossed more than $494 million globally, nearly half of which came from domestic ticket sales.
Disney, on the other hand, might switch places with DreamWorks. The studio recently delayed The Good Dinosaur until November 2015, leaving the year without a single new Pixar film. Disney only plans to release three animated films in 2014: The Wind Rises (a localization of the last film by Hayao Miyazaki), Planes: Fire & Rescue (a sequel) and Big Hero 6 (based on the comic of the same name).
Lions Gate has at least two more fruitful Novembers to look forward to, however, with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 due in 2014 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 due in 2015.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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