'Catching Fire' breaks Thanksgiving box office record; Disney's 'Frozen' is solid

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By Ryan Faughnder

Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES -- "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is making Thanksgiving box office history after generating big ticket sales over the holiday.

After taking in $20.8 million in domestic ticket sales on Wednesday, the Jennifer Lawrence action movie made $14.9 million on Thursday, breaking the record for the biggest gross ever on the holiday held by Pixar's 1999 hit "Toy Story 2."

The "Hunger Games" sequel is on track to make anywhere from $90 million to $100 million through Sunday, which would give it the record for the biggest five-day Thanksgiving weekend gross ever, topping "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone's" $82.4-million haul in 2001.

The movie has earned a total of $222 million so far, domestically, and $201 million abroad for a worldwide total of $423 million.

Disney's new 3-D animated fairy tale musical "Frozen," which opened in wide release this week, is also looking strong after generating $26.3 million on Wednesday and Thursday, combined.

The film, with the vocal talents of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, looks likely to top Disney's big 2010 Thanksgiving opener, the animated "Tangled," which took in $68.7 million over its first five days. "Frozen" might even threaten the all-time record for a Thanksgiving weekend opener, currently held by "Toy Story 2's" $80.1 million.

"Frozen" has drawn a warm reception from critics and an enthusiastic response from audiences. CinemaScore, a research firm that polls moviegoers, gave the movie a rating of "A+."

Other openers include the Open Road Films action thriller "Homefront" with a two-day total of $2.83 million. The Jason Statham film has received a CinemaScore of "B."

Fox Searchlight's "Black Nativity," based on the play by Langston Hughes, has scored $1.12 million so far (CinemaScore: "A-"). Meanwhile, the Fox Searchlight family film "The Book Thief," which expanded into more than 1,000 theaters this weekend, grossed $1.55 million on Wednesday and Thursday.