In a cinematic battle of fire and ice, Disney’s animated adventure Frozen has toppled The Hunger Games: Catching Fire from the UK and US box office top spots.
Based on The Snow Queen fairytale, Frozen brought in £4.7 million in its opening UK weekend while taking $31.6 million in the US after scoring the biggest Thanksgiving opening ever with $93.5 million last week. Overall, the film has grossed $190.2 million worldwide so far.
Family favourite Frozen tells the story of a Scandinavian princess, voiced by Kristen Bell, who is on a mission to find her sister Elsa, a queen who is unintentionally destroying their kingdom with the power to freeze anything she touches.
Not to be completely outdone, Suzanne Collins adaptation Catching Fire remains a US box office hit after shifting $27 million in ticket sales over its third weekend of release.
The only major new entry was crime thriller Out of the Furnace, starring Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, which collected $5.3 million.
New Coen brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis took one of the highest per-cinema averages of 2013 of $100,500 despite only opening in four cinemas, while Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom averaged $19,400 per cinema in its second week of limited release.
“I’m just going to respect the will of the family,” he told The Wrap in a “tearful” interview. “This issue is important to me personally,” he said.
Weinstein acquired the rights to make the film in 1999 and is reportedly “keen to shun” any suggestion that he had done so recently “with an eye to Mandela being close to his demise”.
Before Christmas, big studio films to hit cinemas will include Anchorman: The Legend Continues , Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty .
The US box office record of $10.84 billion for 2012 could be rivalled and possible beaten by 2013 when final figures are added up before the New Year.
“We’re running just slightly ahead of last year’s record pace,” said box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “It’s going to be really close.”
A US screening of Frozen was marred by outrage last week when a Florida cinema accidentally showed an audience of children the explicit trailer for Lars von Trier’s raunchy Nymphomaniac .
Video: Orlando Bloom on 'The Hobbit'