The Fred Rogers drama ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ and cop thriller ’21 Bridges’ also open this weekend.
Walt Disney Animation’s Frozen 2 is expected to melt hearts at the struggling November box office with a strong domestic debut of $100 million-plus this weekend.
If that happens, the sequel — which continues the adventures of royal sisters Anna and Elsa six years after they made their big screen debut — could be the first animated pic outside of summer to hit the century mark in its opening. It would also prove to be a much-needed boost for Hollywood as the year-end holidays commence. Domestic revenue is running 6 percent behind 2018, while ticket sales for November are down a steep 27 percent year-over-year, according to Comscore.
Frozen 2 also debuts in most major markets overseas this weekend, including China, and should have no trouble skating past $220 million in its launch.
In North America, the pic has sold more advance ticket sales in history, according to online services Fandango and Atom.
The first Frozen, opening domestically on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 2013, set a holiday record with a five-day haul of $93 million, including $67 million for the three-day weekend. It went on to earn an astounding $1.28 billion at the global box office to become the top-grossing animated film of all time, not adjusted for inflation. It also won numerous awards, including the Oscar for best animated feature.
In Frozen 2, Kristen Bell (Princess Anna) and Idina Menzel (Queen Elsa) reprise their beloved roles. The gang from the original film will embark on a new journey that goes beyond their homeland of Arendelle, and this time Anna will be joining Elsa on the adventure.
Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Santino Fontana also return from the first pic, while new castmembers include Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee also return as co-directors.
Frozen 2‘s Rotten Tomatoes score currently rests at 78 percent, compared with 90 percent for the 2013 movie.
Fellow new offering A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks as the late Fred Rogers, will be hoping to win over adults. Sony’s drama is tracking to open in the $15 million range, and the studio’s Christmas wish will be for the film to have long legs throughout awards season.
Marielle Heller directed the film, which traces the real-life friendship between Rogers and journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys). A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood boasts a stellar Rotten Tomatoes score of 97 percent.
The weekend’s third new title is 21 Bridges, a cop thriller starring Chadwick Boseman and produced by the Russo brothers. Produced by STXfilms, MWM Studios and Huayi Brothers Pictures, the R-rated pic is tracking to debut in the $10 million to $14 million range domestically. It was directed by Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones, Luther) and also stars Stephan James, Taylor Kitsch, Sienna Miller, Keith David and J. K. Simmons.
21 Bridges‘ current Rotten Tomatoes score is 40 percent.
Frozen 2, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and 21 Bridges are all positioned for the lucrative Thanksgiving box office corridor. On Friday, two other holiday offerings will enter the fray: Knives Out and Queen & Slim.