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Box office report: Weather freezes box office as 'Frozen' stays hot

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And at this week’s box office, there were Frozen and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. No one else needed to play – at least not this weekend.

Frozen, Walt Disney Studios’ apparent return to animated glory, led the way with $31.6 million at the box office while Catching Fire plugged along with an estimated $27 million, according to box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Rentrak.

Their three-day cumulative take of $57 million-plus bested the next eight films that comprised the Top 10 for the weekend of Dec. 6-8 combined. It represents a 24 percent increase for the weekend over this time last year, but it’s off a whopping 55 percent from last week when Catching Fire and Frozen dominated Thanksgiving Weekend.

This week’s lone new release nationally, Out of the Furnace, which opened to bad reviews generally, landed in third place with $5.3 million. The Christian Bale led film came in just ahead of Thor: The Dark World, which brought in another $4.7 million in its pursuit of the magical, mystical $200 million mark. Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man rounds out the top five with $3.8 million for the weekend.

Why the precipitous drop from last weekend? Weather. With much of the country dealing with winter’s wrath, it looks as if movie fans stayed home.

And that hurt the year’s cumulative box office at an inconvenient weekend. Year-to-date box office grosses are practically flat with a modest .3 percent increase over last year.

At least one studio can expect a boost, however. Warner Bros. releases the next installment in The Hobbit series, The Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug, directed by Peter Jackson. J.R.R. Tolkein fans will show in droves, but having seen the film, it’s safe to say it will suck in plenty of others.

Here are this week’s Top 10 films according to Rentrak’s Paul Dergarabedian:

Frozen (Disney): $31.6 million
The Hunger Games (Lionsgate): $27 million
Out of the Furnace (Relativity): $5.3 million
Thor (Disney): $4.7 million
Delivery Man (DreamWorks): $3.8 million
Homefront (Open Road): $3.4 million
The Book Thief (Fox): $2.7 million
The Best Man Holiday (Universal): $2.7 million
Philomena (The Weinstein Company): $2.3 million
Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features): $1.4 million

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