Following one of the worst weekends of the year and the second straight weekend in which the top ten failed to generate a combined $100 million, this weekend is expected to see a single film top that figure all on its own. Disney will release Frozen II, the sequel to the 2013 hit that delivered over $400 million at the domestic box office and over $1.27 billion worldwide, and expectations are high. In addition to that, Sony will release A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and STX will release the action-thriller 21 Bridges, all of which hope to give the 2019 box office a much needed jolt.


Heading into the weekend Frozen II is already breaking records in terms of pre-sales with Fandango reporting back in early November the film eclipsed first day pre-sales for all other animated films in the company's 19-year history. Fellow online ticket retailer Atom Tickets reports the film broke the same first day record as well as seeing the best pre-sales ever for an animated movie on Atom. This news leads to the film's opening weekend in which industry expectations are anywhere from $105-115 million with Disney anticipating a similar performance in the $100 million range. Historically, the largest animated opening in November is the $70.4 million opening for The Incredibles back in 2004 followed by 2018's The Grinch, which opened with $67.5 million last November.


Interestingly enough, Frozen II's performance, in terms of IMDb page views, shows the film pacing behind the likes of previous $100+ million animated openers including Finding Dory, Minions, Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4. It is, however, outperforming The Grinch over the two weeks leading up to release. That being said, this is hardly surprising as the four sequels we mentioned came well beyond the release of their predecessor whereas Frozen isn't so far removed from its predecessor making its characters far more top of mind. In fact, from that perspective, Frozen II is pacing much closer to its predecessor than most sequels actually do when looking at IMDb page views.


That being said, while no animated film has opened over $100 million outside the summer corridor, we fully expect Frozen II to be the exception. We're going out with a $120 million forecast and will simply wait until the snow settles to see how this one performs. No matter how well it does this weekend, should audiences take to it as critics have — 78% on RottenTomatoes and 65 on Metacritic — it should continue its success well throughout the holiday season.


Right now we're expecting Fox's Ford v Ferrari to pull into second position in its sophomore frame, after an outstanding debut last week. We're anticipating a drop around -43% and an $18 million performance, leading to a domestic cume topping $60 million by the end of the weekend. However, the question is not only can Ford v Ferrari hold on that well in its second weekend, but can it hold on that well against our next release, which also targets an adult audience and, could, in fact even outperform an $18 million three-day.


Sony's drama A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is looking good heading the weekend. The film finds Tom Hanks portraying the late Fred Rogers, better known as Mister Rogers and star of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood", which ran for 31 seasons and over 900 episodes from 1968-2001. The $25 million production debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in September and has earned rave reviews ever since — 97% on RottenTomatoes and 80 on Metacritic — and the studio is anticipating a $14 million opening while industry tracking is a bit higher, targeting a $17-20 million launch.


A look at IMDb page views shows Beautiful Day pacing very well compared to recent adult-targeted features, pacing just behind both Ford v Ferrari and Midway over the two weeks leading up to release and outpacing Hanks's 2015 thriller Bridge of Spies. As for our forecast, we're looking for a $17+ million performance and won't be surprised if it outperforms that total and plays well into the holiday season.


In fourth we come to STX's action-thriller 21 Bridges starring Chadwick Boseman, which will open in 2,665 locations this weekend with tracking suggesting a debut in the low to mid teens, but we're having a hard time justifying that number. A look at IMDb page views shows the film pacing behind the likes of Mile 22, Den of Thieves and The Foreigner, all three are action films released by STX over the last couple of years and all three debuted anywhere from $13-15 million with similar page view trends when looking at IMDb data so the fact 21 Bridges is pacing so far behind is concerning. On average, we'd expect a film similar to this one to open right around $13-14 million, so tracking makes sense, but we're lowering our expectations based on what we're seeing and projecting a performance around $10 million.


Rounding out the top five is Paramount's Playing with Fire, which we expect to dip around -45% this weekend for a $4.5 million three-day for a domestic cume approaching $32 million by the end of the weekend.


In limited release, Focus will debut Dark Waters in two locations in New York and Los Angeles each before expanding further next weekend and going nationwide on December 6.


This weekend's forecast is directly below.


Frozen II (4,440 theaters) - $120.0 M
Ford v Ferrari (3,528 theaters) - $18.0 M
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood (3,235 theaters) - $17.0 M
21 Bridges (2,665 theaters) - $9.7 M
Playing with Fire (2,760 theaters) - $4.5 M
Midway (2,627 theaters) - $4.4 M
Charlie's Angels (3,452 theaters) - $4.0 M
Joker (1,410 theaters) - $3.7 M
Last Christmas (2,411 theaters) - $3.1 M
The Good Liar (2,454 theaters) - $2.8 M