LOS ANGELES: Walt Disney Co’s animated fairy tale Frozen took hold of first place on movie charts in the United States and Canada for the first weekend of 2014, knocking three-time champion The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug down to the No.3 spot.
Second place went to new horror movie Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, a spinoff from the hit low-budget Paranormal Activity franchise.
Frozen collected $20.7 million in ticket sales, claiming the weekend box office hit crown, ahead of The Marked Ones which earned $18.2 million.
Kristen Bell provides the voice for the lead character in Frozen, the story of a Scandinavian princess on search of her missing sister, the queen. The hit film is nearing a $300 million domestic total and has collected $640 million in global ticket sales, making it the highest-grossing Disney Animation release of all-time, behind only The Lion King, according to Disney.
The Marked Ones introduces new characters and a different story to the hit Paranormal Activity franchise produced by horror filmmaker Jason Blum. The new installment, designed to appeal especially to Latino moviegoers, features Hispanic actors and some Spanish dialogue in a story about a young man in Oxnard, California, who learns he is marked for possession by a demon. The first four Paranormal films, each released in October, have pulled in $720.7 million worldwide, according to the Box Office Mojo website.
Smaug, which took in $16.3 million after three straight weeks at No.1 before falling to third place, is the second installment in The Hobbit fantasy series and follows the quest of Bilbo Baggins and a band of dwarves as they clash with a fire-breathing dragon.
Rounding out the charts, director Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the biographical story of a drug-snorting Wall Street scam artist, took the No. 4 spot with $13.4 million.
Fifth place went to 1970s crime caper American Hustle. The critically acclaimed film stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in a story loosely based on a real-life corruption scandal involving U.S. politicians, and took in $13.2 million at the box office.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2014.