Hollywood could give thanks for its heroines this weekend as the women of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen got the holiday season off to a bristling start.
Fire topped the box office with $110.2 million over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, according to studio estimates from box office trackers Rentrak.
The impressive haul in Fire's second weekend marks the largest debut ever for a film over the Thanksgiving weekend, smashing the record of $82.4 million set by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in 2001.
The $130 million Jennifer Lawrence sequel has collected $296.5 million since its release Nov. 22.
The second-week performance also silenced analysts, some of whom suggested that last month's debut of $158 million was a disappointment.
"Any potential concerns about last weekend's opening are gone," says Tim Briody, analyst for Boxofficeprophets.com. "It's a monster, folks."
Not that the fearless sisters of Disney's animated comedy Frozen were slouches. The film, featuring the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, swept to an impressive second place with $93 million.
Analysts expected the movie to do about $65 million over five days, thanks largely to kids on holiday break. But critics gave it a solid 84%, and 91% of moviegoers say thumbs-up, according pollsters Rottentomatoes.com. And CinemaScore says audiences gave it the rare grade of A-plus, suggesting it will be a titan through the holidays.
Forecasters expected the second-place finish, but Frozen managed to still smash records of its own. The movie becomes Disney's biggest animation opening of all time, topping Tangled, which bowed to $69 million in 2010.
Briody credits Frozen's performance to Disney's reputation for holiday fare "and a lack of good animated family options since September's Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2."
The two films powered the industry to its biggest overall Thanksgiving weekend on record, topping the $291 million collected last year by movies including The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Skyfall and Lincoln.
The comic-book adaptation Thor: The Dark World took third with $15.5 million, followed by the comedy The Best Man Holiday with $11 million. The Jason Statham thriller Homefront took No. 5 with $9.8 million. Final figures are out Monday.