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'Frozen' beats' Catching Fire' this time around

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After two weeks at the top,"Catching Fire" slipped on the ice of "Frozen." Without a major new release in the way, "Frozen" does indeed take over, at least for now, to the tune of $31.6 million. "Catching Fire" is second with $26.3 million.

That movie itself was a box office success after its release but had to settle for the second spot due to an even more impressive "Catching Fire."

Overall, when it comes to movie-going, weather is often a factor. That is the case for many part of the United States. So, the numbers could have been better, but those top two still hang in there. As much of the nation was battling ice and snow, "Frozen" was the perfect choice. Come in out of the cold and watch "Frozen." Or heat up with "Catching Fire."

Either way, it worked for those two. With "Frozen," it is a jump back to those animated Disney films all ages love, much like "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King." And judging from the audiences, it hits family audiences real well.

The new release, "Out of the Furnace" failed to ignite much interest. The film, written and directed by Scott Cooper, has a stellar cast. It includes Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker and Willem Dafoe. That star power didn't help.

Weekend
1. "Frozen" - $31.6 million
2. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" - $27 million
3. "Out of the Furnace" - $5.3 million

The truth in the numbers seems to be, after the top two, ouch. It is that simple. But, one thing is also clear. "Inside Llewyn Davis" is solid. With a total $418,000 and a $104,585 per-screen, look out. That is spectacular. This one has momentum behind it for an award season run. The Coen brothers are at it again and the timing of this release is perfect. It also won the independent Gotham Awards top prize.

While many think "12 Years a Slave" is a shoe-in, think again. It is movies like this and possibly "American Hustle" that could be gaining. Likewise, a sleeper like "Saving Mr. Banks" or another could sneak in. Hollywood loves to honor movies about its industry, so "Saving Mr. Banks" has that, and Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.

Meanwhile, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of the Smaug" will emerge and swallow the box office. With its length matching the long title, getting those numbers higher takes more effort. Why? Simply because it cannot be shown as many times as a much shorter movie. "Catching Fire" is a long movie as well, and the latest Hobbit adventure is even longer.

On another somber note, Idris Elba currently stars as Nelson Mandela in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." It opens wider on Christmas Day. It premiered in London on the very day Mandela died. The box office, so far, doesn't look like it was affected by his death. But, that may be because it is in very limited release right now.

Plus, the movie starring Paul Walker opens Dec. 13. Let's hope emotions do not take over. If both of those are not all that good, let's hope people are honest about it.

Oh, and technically, "Frozen" opened up earlier. It was in one theater Nov. 22-24 and did a whopping $234,000. So, it has been out for three weeks, albeit in just one theater the first time out.

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