‘Frozen 2’ Heats Up Thursday Night With $8.5M Previews, Best For Animated Pic In November

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Refresh for updates: Disney’s Frozen 2 fired up previews last night at 6PM raking in $8.5M. That’s an amazing start for an animated pic in November, up there with such previews for summer family pics like Aladdin ($7M),  Finding Dory ($9M) and Toy Story 4  ($12M). Last night’s cash is also ahead or around the previews  for such notable November big pics as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($8.75M), Twilight‘s midnight shows of $7.5M, and Thor: The Dark World‘s $7.1M 10pm shows.

Frozen 2‘s preview ticket sales also smash all prior Disney picks in November including Ralph Breaks the Internet ($3.8M off 6pm showtimes on its Tuesday during Thanksgiving week), Moana ($2.6M Tuesday) and Coco ($2.3M Tuesday).

Frozen 2

Over in China, Frozen 2 grossed $11.4M including previews in its first day,the highest opening day for any Disney or Pixar movie in the PRC. Overall, foreign sales since Wednesday are at $18.6M from 26 markets. Frozen 2 opened at #1 in all markets and posted the highest animated opening day of all-time in Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, Philippines, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and UAE. Other markets going today include Japan, Mexico, UK, and Spain. Nancy’s sources estimate a $120M-$140M foreign opening for Frozen 2, and if domestic stays strong with at least $242M+, the sequel will score the best global opening for an animated pic of all-time, besting Toy Story 4‘s $240.9M current record.

Screen Engine/Comscore PostTrak audiences gave the pic 4 1/2 stars with parents 4 stars and kids under 12 4 1/2 with a 70% ‘must see right away’. General audience definite recommend is also at 71%. Mostly female audience, of course, with women under 25 leading at 33%, women over 25 at 30%, men over 25 at 22% and men under 25 at 16%. Parents and kids repped 52% of last night’s attendees. Moms outweighed dads, 58% to 42%. with girls under 12 greater than boys at 64% to 36%. Girls, of course, like the follow-up of Anna and Elsa more than boys at 92% to 76%.  Diversity demos were 53% Caucasian, 22% Hispanic, 11% African American, and 9% Asian.

How gangbusters the movie goes this weekend, we will see. Fandango reports that Frozen 2 is their highest animated feature pre-seller in the online/digital ticket retailer’s 19 history, besting Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4. At the low, some think it’s $90M, while others are confident the pic could come in between $100M-$135M. Anything above $100M is most appreciated as exhibitors are hit starved in this tentpole dry November marketplace with Seeking Alpha reporting this morning that key exhibition stocks have hit new 52 week lows this morning with Cinemark (CNK -1.8%), AMC Entertainment (AMC -4.4%) and Marcus Corporation (MCS -4.9%). Even if Frozen 2 under-delivers, it will own the Thanksgiving and early December stretch before Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level arrives on Dec. 13.

Today, the Jennifer Lee-Chris Buck movie expands to 4,440 theaters –the widest November opening of all-time besting 2015’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Of that count, there are 2,500 3D locations, the full 400 screen IMAX network, 800 branded Premium Large Format screens, and 235 D-Box/4D enhanced locations.

The first pic’s previews back in 2013 on a Tuesday night before Thanksgiving took in $1.1M from shows that began at 10PM.

Tom Hanks in 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood'

Meanwhile, TriStar Pictures’ A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood grossed $900K last night off showtimes that started at 4:30 p.m. in 2,865 locations. We are projecting $14M for the weekend. Pic is expected to file around the mid teen range, but leg out off its splendid reviews which are at 97% certified fresh. Great audience response here for the Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers movie with 4 1/2 stars on PostTrak and a 69% definite recommend. Last night’s audience for Beautiful Day was 48% females over 25, 38% males over 25, 8% females under 25 and 6% males under 25.

21 Bridges

STXfilms/AGBO crime feature 21 Bridges made $700K last night off 2,665 screens. That figure is not that far from another older guy driven STX caper pic Den of Thieves, which did $950K in its Thursday preview ahead of its $15.2M opening. The Chadwick Boseman pic is expected to file between $10M-$12M. STX produced 21 Bridges with MWM Studios and Huayi Brothers Pictures for a net reported production cost of $33M. PostTrak exits gave 21 Bridges 4 stars, men over 25 at 42% leading, females over 25 next at 38%, guys under 25 at 10%, and females under 25 at 9%. A 57% definite recommend here with African Americans turning out at 34%, Caucasians at 32%,  Hispanics at 19% and Asians at 9%.

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