Frozen chills Hunger Games’ lead at US box office


Disney animation Frozen has toppled Hunger Games: Catching Fire off the top of the US box office chart in its second week of release. According to early estimates, Frozen took $31.6m (£19.3m) over the weekend, with the Hunger Games sequel slipping to second place with $27m (£16.5m). The only new wide release was Out of the Furnace, which took $5.3m (£3.2m) to earn third place. The steel-town drama stars Christian Bale and Casey Affleck. Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World and Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man rounded out the top five.Despite opening in just four cinemas the Coen brothers’ latest film, Inside Llewyn Davis, scored one of the year’s highest per-cinema averages, taking $100,500 (£61,300).

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom continued to play in four cinemas in its second week of limited release, averaging $19,400 (£11,800) per cinema.

Producer Harvey Weinstein has said he will not alter the film’s release date to take advantage of Mandela’s death to boost sales for his biopic.

The film is due to be rolled out to about 850 cinemas on Christmas Day.

“I’m just going to respect the will of the family,” he told The Wrap.

“This issue is important to me personally,” he added.

With Oscar season approaching, the website stated Weinstein was “keen to shun” any suggestions he had acquired the film recently “with an eye to Mandela being close to his demise”, adding he had acquired the rights to make it in 1999.

The weekend was typically quiet placed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, however takings were still up 16.9% on last year.

Box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian said this year’s takings may surpass the $10.8bn (£6.6bn) made at the 2012 box office.

“We’re running just slightly ahead of last year’s record pace, it’s going to be really close,” he said.

Next week sees the release of Peter Jackson’s second Hobbit film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of the Smaug.

The first, An Unexpected Journey, debuted with $84.6m (£51.6m) last year.