"Frozen 2" kept a wintry wind at its back in its second week, setting a Thanksgiving record with a whopping box office bounty, while newcomer "Knives Out" found its own broad audience.
Disney's new set of adventures for Anna, Elsa and Olaf brought in $85.3 million in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend and earned an unprecedented $132.7 million for the holiday frame of Wednesday through Sunday, according to studio estimates.
The first "Frozen" opened on Thanksgiving in 2013, but the sequel opened a week prior to the holiday, making it poised for a huge second week, with out-of-school kids happy to see it a second or a third time.
"Having the opening weekend falling a few days ahead of Thanksgiving really set it up perfectly," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for the box office tracker Comscore.
That came on top of a record-burying opening weekend of $127 million debut domestically and $350.2 million worldwide that made it the highest-grossing global debut for any animated film globally, and the largest opening for any for any Walt Disney Animation Studios release.
The original film and its world-making song "Let It Go" became a pop-culture phenomenon, earning $1.27 billion worldwide and selling countless Elsa and Anna dresses.
The sequel has more than showed that the six years since has brought no thaw. It has already earned $739 million globally and should certainly surpass the original's totals.
"Disney is usually immune to the waning interest that audience have with some sequels," Dergarabedian said.
"Knives Out," the innovative whodunit from writer and director Rian Johnson, rode great reviews and strong social media buzz to a $27 million weekend and a five-day domestic total of $41.7 million that easily earned back its budget.
The film's vast and eclectic cast included Ana de Armas, Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette and Chris Evans.
Johnson, the director of "Looper" and "The Last Jedi," had been the target of some Twitter fanboy outrage for the direction he took the second episode in the newest "Star Wars" trilogy, whose final chapter opens next month.
The "Knives Out" opening showed his name value was unharmed and might even have been strengthened by the online noise, and its reception could mean awards season consideration for Johnson and the cast.
"First and foremost, this starts with Rian Johnson," said David Spitz, president of domestic distribution for Lionsgate. "He wrote a screenplay we all loved and executed it to perfection."
In response to the strong showing, Johnson on Sunday morning tweeted "Wow - THANKS to everyone who came to #KnivesOut this weekend, and for all the lovely tweets, you guys are the best."
While put on the calendar to draw in adults while kids were watching and re-watching "Frozen 2," "Knives Out" proved to be more than a niche picture.
"We set it with the counterprogramming expectation, this is a good adult dramedy," Spitz said.
But, he said, it turned out younger audiences had even better reactions than older ones.
"It's playing to everybody," Spitz said.
While the weekend showed that there is nothing like a franchise to bring in blockbuster bucks, it also reflected that tentpoles aren't the only means to attract audiences.
"When it comes to adult fare, it seems that audiences want more originality," Dergarabedian said.
"Knives Out" also opened strong internationally with a weekend of $28.3 million.
The weekend's other newcomer, "Queen & Slim," finished down in fifth with $11.7 million, but with a limited number of screens and a modest reported budget of about $20 million, it was still a successful opening for the Bonnie-and-Clyde-meets-Black-Lives-Matter story.
"Ford v Ferrari" rolled along in its third weekend of release, finishing in third place with $13.2 million.
Tom Hanks' Mister Rogers story "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" also hummed along in its second weekend, earning $11.8 million to put it fourth at the domestic box office.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Frozen 2," $85.3 million ($163.8 million international).
2. "Knives Out," $27 million ($28.3 million international).
3. "Ford v Ferrari," $13.2 million ($10.2 million international).
4. "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," $11.8 million.
5. "Queen & Slim," $11.7 million.
6. "21 Bridges," $5.8 million ($1.9 million international).
7. "Playing with Fire," $4.2 million.
8. "Midway," $4 million ($2.7 million international).
9. "Joker," $2 million ($4.6 million international).
10. "Last Christmas," $1.99 million ($8 million international).
"Frozen 2" kept a wintry wind at its back in its second week, setting a Thanksgiving record with a whopping box office bounty.
Disney's ice princess sequel brought in $85.3 million in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend and earned an unprecedented $132.7 million for the holiday frame of Wednesday through Sunday. It has earned $288 million domestically in its 10 days of release.
"Knives Out," the innovative and star-heavy whodunit from director Rian Johnson, rode strong reviews and word of mouth to a $27 million weekend and a five-day total of $41.7 million that easily earned back its budget.
"Ford v Ferrari" was third in its third weekend of release with $13.2 million.
The weekend's other newcomer, "Queen & Slim," finished fifth with $11.7 million.
Mariss Jansons, the conductor who led top classical ensembles including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, has died in Russia. He was 76.
Jansons' death in St. Petersburg was confirmed by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, where he was chief conductor. Jansons had canceled concerts this summer because of health reasons, the dpa news agency reported.
Born in German-occupied Riga in 1943 in what is now independent Latvia as the son of a conductor father and an opera singer mother, Jansons grew up in the Soviet Union and studied at the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Conservatory. He moved to Austria in 1969 and studied conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and with Herbert von Karajan in Salzburg.
He was chief conductor in Pittsburgh from 1997 to 2004, regularly appeared at the Salzburg Festival, and in 2006 and 2012 conducted the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert broadcast around the world. He left the Pittsburgh orchestra to become principal conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw, a post he held until 2015. Jansons is credited with raising the reputation of the Oslo Philharmonic through recordings and international tours during a 23-year tenure as music director.
Jansons, who according to a 2012 interview in the Guardian held both Russian and Latvian passports, collapsed on stage during a concert performance of Puccini's "La Boheme" in Oslo in 1996 after suffering a heart attack and was subsequently fitted with a defibrillator.
Without offering proof, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday said actor Leonardo DiCaprio had funded nonprofit groups that he claimed are partly responsible for fires in the Amazon this year.
Bolsonaro's remarks about the American actor were part of a wider government campaign against environmental nonprofit groups operating in Brazil.
"DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn't he? Giving money to set the Amazon on fire," the president said to supporters in Brasilia.
DiCaprio's environmental organization Earth Alliance has pledged $5 million to help protect the Amazon after a surge in fires destroyed large parts of the rainforest in July and August. But the actor and committed environmentalist said in a statement sent to The Associated Press Friday his group had not funded any of the two nonprofits named by investigators so far.
"While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted," the statement read. "The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them."
Some members of Bolsonaro's administration argue that civil society groups and environmental laws hinder economic development in the region.
Bolsonaro and Environment Minister Ricardo Salles are promoting development in some protected natural areas, even as intentional fires and deforestation in the Amazon have reached levels not seen in a decade.
The criticism of DiCaprio and environmental activists follows a police raid at the headquarters of two nonprofit groups in the Amazonian state of Para earlier this week. Local police also arrested four volunteer firefighters and say they are investigating them for allegedly igniting fires to obtain funding from sympathetic donors.
The volunteer firefighters denied any wrongdoing and a judge ordered their release.
Federal prosecutors say their investigations point to land-grabbers as primary suspects for fires in the area, not nonprofits or firefighters.
Cattle ranchers, farmers and illegal loggers have long used fire to clear land in the Amazon.
This is not the first time Brazil's president has suggested, without evidence, that nonprofit groups are setting fires in the Amazon, or questioned warnings about climate change.
In August, in the midst of an international outcry over the Amazon fires, Bolsonaro blamed the "information war going on in the world against Brazil" and fired the head of the governmental space research institute that monitors deforestation.
Bolsonaro accused the institute's president, Ricardo Galvão, of manipulating deforestation data to make his administration look bad.
But when an annual deforestation report released in November, three months after the incident, confirmed a double-digit percent uptick in deforestation, the government acknowledged that deforestation had increased year-on-year.
An Ohio zoo is celebrating the birth of a polar bear cub.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says the cub was born early Thursday morning to 13-year-old Aurora.
The zoo says polar bear newborns have a low survival rate in their early weeks. Employees are monitoring the cub's care using cameras in a private den area.
Officials say the cub has been nursing, and Aurora is attentive. The bears are expected to remain out of public view until spring.
Aurora has three surviving offspring from previous litters. Those bears now live at zoos in Utah, Maryland and Wisconsin.
The newest cub was sired by a 20-year-old bear named Lee. He was moved to Columbus from the Denver Zoo a year ago under a species survival plan recommendation.