Weekend Box Office: Why 'Frozen' Will Beat 'Ride Along' & 'That Awkward Moment' for Top Spot

Focus Features' "That Awkward Moment" is currently the favorite to win at this weekend's box office, but it's facing some surprising competition.

Jan 31, 2014 at 5:25PM

Disney's Frozen will likely win the top spot this weekend ahead of That Awkward Moment

That Awkward Moment could face tough competition for this weekend's top spot. Image source: Focus Features

Millions of people will be partying it up this Sunday for Super Bowl XLVIII, but that doesn't mean the box office won't still be vying for your entertainment dollars.

Focus Features' recent marketing blitz for That Awkward Moment appears to be working -- early estimates for the new romantic comedy have it tracking as high as the $13 million to $15 million range, which gives it a solid chance to win the top spot this weekend. What's more, a first weekend haul in that range would all but ensure That Awkward Moment's financial success considering its minuscule $8 million production budget.

And don't forget Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Universal's holdover action comedy in Ride Along, which is entering week three after earning an impressive $21.3 million last weekend. Assuming That Awkward Moment doesn't significantly cannibalize Ride Along's sales -- both are buddy movies, albeit of a different variety -- a typical downward slide would put Ride Along in the $10 million to $11 million range this weekend. 

If That Awkward Moment underperforms even a little, however, Ride Along could easily pass it by. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me in the least considering $14 million would represent Focus Features' fourth-largest weekend debut ever, trailing only three very different films in Burn After Reading, Coraline, and ParaNorman, all of which had comparatively mammoth budgets at $37 million, $60 million, and $60 million, respectively.

An unlikely challenger
But if The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has its way, Frozen could make a run for first place at this weekend's box office.

Before you recoil in disbelief, hear me out: Sure, Frozen has shown remarkable staying power at the box office so far, but it "only" tacked on $9 million after all was said and done last weekend. So how could Disney possibly hope to increase Frozen's numbers in its tenth weekend?

Look no further than a special sing-along version of Disney's animated blockbuster, which is set to launch in more than 2,000 theaters this weekend.

Can you blame them? Audiences have granted Frozen a rare "A+" CinemaScore en route to a staggering $812.6 million in global ticket sales so far, and critics have largely hailed it as a long-awaited return to form for Disney. In addition, Frozen snagged two Oscar nominations earlier this month -- one for Best Animated Feature, and another for Best Original Song with "Let It Go." 

And for those who'd like to practice before they belt it out on in theaters, Disney was even kind enough to post this video, complete with lyrics, on Wednesday:

So how much could Frozen earn this weekend? It's difficult to peg an exact figure given a lack of precedent, but a quick glance at the top sellers on Fandango's front page shows Frozen Sing-Along listed at number one ahead of both That Awkward Moment and Ride Along. That doesn't guarantee Frozen will win the weekend, but it sure seems to portend good things for the rerelease.

In any case, I'll be sure to touch base as the weekend progresses, but don't be shocked if this 10-week-old film once again lands on top when the final numbers roll in Monday.

The next steps

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Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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