‘Frozen 2’ dazzles with US$127 mil debut

Elsa returns to ‘Frozen 2’. (AP pic)

LOS ANGELES: Disney’s “Frozen 2” iced out the box office competition in North America, where family audiences powered the animated adventure to a dazzling US$130 million debut.

The sequel kicked off above expectations ahead of Thanksgiving, which should parlay into an especially lucrative holiday frame.

“Frozen 2” set a November record for an animated film and stands as the biggest opening ever for Walt Disney Animation (not including Pixar).

It’s also the first animated movie to hit triple digits in its debut outside of summer.

Overseas, the animated adventure generated US$223 million for a massive global start of US$350 million.

The first “Frozen” launched before Thanksgiving in 2013, collecting US$93 million during its first five days in theatres.

Brimming with hits like “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Let It Go” that have since become classics, the original film became a certified sensation and still stands as the highest-grossing animated movie in history with US$1.3 billion in global ticket sales.

“Frozen 2” received a slightly less enthusiastic, though still glowing, reception from audiences, who awarded it an A- CinemaScore compared to “Frozen’s” A+.

In “Frozen 2,” Princesses Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) reunite with Kristoff (Jonathan Gross) and Olaf (Josh Gad), to embark on an adventure beyond Arendelle to find out why Elsa was born with magical powers.

The follow-up sees the return of directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, as well as original songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

Also new to multiplexes, Sony’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” kicked off in third place with US$13.5 million from 3,235 theatres, a solid start given its US$25 million price tag.

Box office pundits expect the feel-good film will enjoy a long run in theatres over the holidays.

Tom Hanks stars as Fred Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood,” a biographical drama chronicling the real-life friendship between the beloved TV personality and journalist Tom Junod (portrayed by Matthew Rhys).

Marielle Heller (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) directed the movie, inspired by Junod’s Esquire article “Can You Say … Hero?”

STX’s “21 Bridges,” a suspense thriller starring Chadwick Boseman, followed behind at No 4 with US$9.2 million from 2,665 venues.

Produced by the Russo brothers, the film attracted a mostly older male audience and earned a B+ CinemaScore.

Over 50% of ticket buyers were male, while 75% were over the age of 25.

“21 Bridges” follows NYPD detective (Boseman) who closes down every bridge in Manhattan as part of a citywide manhunt after a drug heist gone wrong. It carries a US$33 million budget.

This weekend was an undisputed win for Disney as “Ford v Ferrari” finishes its sophomore outing in second place, collecting US$16 million for a domestic tally of US$57 million.

Rounding out the top five, Lionsgate’s war drama “Midway” earned US$4.6 million in its third frame, boosting North American ticket sales to US$43 million.

Elsewhere, Sony’s “Charlie’s Angels” stumbled in its second weekend, suffering a painful 62% decline to US$3.1 million for a domestic total of US$13.9 million.

At the specialty box office, Todd Haynes’ legal thriller “Dark Waters” began its platform release, generating $110,000 from four theatres.

The movie will expand to 100 venues on Wednesday.

Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway star in “Dark Waters,” based on a 2016 New York Times article about the lawyer who took on the Dupont chemical company.