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Weekend Box Office: Audiences relate to movies about being cold, as things on fire become passé

With being really, really cold all the rage across most of the country this weekend, audiences flocked to Disney’s shrewdly on-trend Frozen at the box office, proving yet again the old saw that a movie’s performance directly correlates to how closely it mirrors the weather. The film about a world blanketed in ice and hyperactive snowmen struck an obvious chord with crowds who looked out their windows, then made their own treacherous journeys to put Frozen in first place in its third week out. It’s a marketing strategy that continues to pay off for Disney, which has recently enjoyed similar, selling-what-you’re-seeing success with movies about cars and planes. 

Unfortunately, the hot fad of being cold meant a significant tumble for second-place finisher The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which fell nearly 64 percent, and a fairly weak third-place debut for Out Of The Furnace, with just north of $5 million in around 2,000 theaters—both films suffering from associations with heat that failed to connect with Americans, who can’t relate to things being on fire right now. (No doubt Warner Bros. is watching the Arctic very closely, waiting to see how its air masses will affect its fire-breathing dragon movie.)

That lowdown, wintry feeling of despair also helped the Coen Bros.’ Inside Llewyn Davis, which opened with an impressive $100, 500-per-screen average on its four screens. Most of the non-New York/Los Angeles nation will have to wait until January to see it, but odds are the country will still be under a bleak morass of unforgiving temperatures and harsh winds that mirror their own tragicomic struggles, so it should do fairly well.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo

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