Box Office: ‘Frozen’ Reminds us How Huge it Is as ‘LEGO Movie’ Falls to ‘Non-Stop,’ ‘Son of God’

The LEGO Movie finally fell to Liam Neeson and Jesus this weekend, but Disney's Frozen also just hit a massive milestone.

Mar 3, 2014 at 5:08PM


The LEGO Movie finally fell to Non-Stop after three weekends on top, Image sources: Time Warner, Comcast

We all knew The LEGO Movie was going to fall eventually, and it just so happened to be at the hands of both Liam Neeson and Jesus.

After three straight weekends on top, Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) toy-centric creation ended in third this time, grossing "just" $21 million over the past three days. That brings The LEGO Movie's global total to $330.4 million, including an impressive $209.3 million from stateside audiences alone.

Meanwhile, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Universal and News Corp's (NASDAQ:NWS) 20th Century Fox easily went 1-2, respectively, with an estimated $30 million from Non-Stop and $26.5 million from Son of God.

On one hand, and despite riding almost entirely on the old-school-action shoulders of Neeson, Non-Stop's performance was solid by any measure -- significantly stronger, in fact, than I had expected based on the moderate late-weekend legs of Neeson's last two Taken films. However, with Time Warner's 300: Rise of An Empire launching this Friday, Non-Stop needs to maintain its momentum for Comcast to recoup its $50 million budget.

Son of God will pay dividends for News Corp
On the other hand, News Corp's "story of Jesus" film came in lighter than I surmised, though I had no delusions it would stand up to the record-setting run achieved by 2004's The Passion of the ChristBut despite debuting at a distant second place, Son of God is still an undeniable winner given News Corp's modest $22 million production budget -- a byproduct of the fact it was created by stitching together relevant scenes and extra footage from the producers' epic miniseries The Bible.

And remember, The Bible promptly sold 525,000 DVD, Digital HD, and Blu-ray units in its first seven days on shelves last April, good to make it the highest selling miniseries of all time and the fastest moving launch of TV on DVD over previous five years. It seems reasonable then to assume Son of God will drive similarly massive physical and digital media sales for News Corp a few months from now. 

Frozen is still red-hot
But for all the early success of this weekend's top three, The Walt Disney Company's (NYSE:DIS) Frozen served up yet another reminder of just how big it really is.

Disney Frozen

If it wasn't enough knowing Disney's animated blockbuster just won two academy awards -- one for "Best Animated Feature Film" and one for "Best Original Song" -- it also gathered another $3.6 million for eighth place in its 15th weekend.

But that still doesn't sound like much, even if we put aside the fact Frozen entered theaters nearly two months before any other film in this weekend's top 10 (Ride Along just placed tenth in its seventh weekend). However, it was enough to propel Frozen's global box office total over $1 billion yesterday, making it the first Walt Disney Animation Studios effort to do so.

Frozen's worldwide gross is also currently the second highest among all animated films -- unadjusted for inflation, that is -- trailing only the $1.063 billion achieved by Disney Pixar's Toy Story 3. But Toy Story 3 finally exited theaters after a full 24 weeks, which gives Frozen another two months to continue running up the score. 

The next step for you

But the next few months won't be without competition; next weekend, for example, offers something for everyone with the releases of 300: Rise of an Empire and the animated Mr. Peabody and Sherman. In any case, I'll be sure to touch base before then to see how they might fare.

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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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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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