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‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Sets Thanksgiving Day Box Office Record

”Frozen“ also off to strong holiday start

Americans dug into a little gladiatorial combat along with the turkey and cranberry sauce on Thursday, propelling “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” to $14.9 million at the domestic box office. That impressive haul beat previous record holder “Toy Story 2” to set a new benchmark for Thanksgiving day grosses.The Pixar film earned $13.1 million in 1999.

Lionsgate’s blockbuster sequel has now grossed $222 million in North America since opening last week. It has earned an estimated $423 million globally and opened in 16 more foreign markets this week.

The well-reviewed picture, which once again sees Jennifer Lawrence in a desperate battle to stay alive, is on pace to earn a massive $100 million over the holiday. If tracking holds, that would be a new record for the Thanksgiving holiday period, besting the high-water maker set by “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 2001.

Disney Animation’s “Frozen” was also a hit with audiences looking for some family friendly diversion. Bolstered by strong reviews, the 3D picture brought in an estimated $11.1  million. It should end up with north of $80 million in the first five days of its release.

Also read: 5 Things Hollywood Should Be Thankful For

Disney’s Marvel film “Thor: The Dark World” benefited from the holiday crowds, adding $2 million to its $175 million haul. It should earn $13 million over the period. Pity poor “Delivery Man.” The Vince Vaugh sperm donor comedy showed a lack of vitality, earning $1.4 million on Thursday and bringing its domestic total to $12.5 million.

Likewise James Franco and Jason Statham‘s action thriller “Homefront” exhibited a lack of pizzaz, bringing in an estimated $1.4 million en route to a $9 million five day opening, while “Oldboy” remake earned an estimated $212,795 in less than 600 theaters. The Spike Lee thriller should earn $1.2 million over the period.

Among Oscar contenders, Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity” and “The Book Thief” racked up $825,000 and $680,000 respectively.