NEW YORK - “Frozen 2” blanketed multiplexes for the third straight weekend, continuing its reign at No. 1 with $34.7 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The Walt Disney Co. animated sequel has already grossed $919.7 million worldwide. It will soon become the sixth Disney release this year to cross $1 billion, a record sure to grow to seven once “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” hits theatres later this month. Early next week, Disney will cross $10 billion at the global box office this year.
But the weekend overall at the box office was yet another disappointing one for the movie industry. A handful of under-performing releases and a relatively thin wide-release schedule hasn't helped the 5.6% slide in domestic ticket sales from last year, according to data firm Comscore.
This weekend produced an outright flop in “Playmobil: The Movie," the week's only new wide release. The STX Films release was never expected to do well, but it bombed so thoroughly that it will rank among the worst-performing wide-releases ever. It grossed $668,000 in 2,337 venues, giving it a per-theatre average of just $286.
A handful of companies combined to produce the $75 million French film, including Wild Bunch and Pathe.
The top five films were almost unchanged from last weekend.
Rian Johnson's acclaimed, star-studded whodunit “Knives Out" remained in second place with $14.2 million, declining a modest 47% in its second week of release. With $63.5 million cumulatively and $124.1 million worldwide, the Lionsgate release has been one of the season's bright spots.
So has James Mangold's “Ford v Ferrari," which stayed in third place with $6.5 million over its fourth weekend. The racing drama, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, has sped to a global take of $168 million for Disney, which acquired the film's original studio, 20th Century Fox, earlier this year. The film cost about $100 million to make.
Melina Matsoukas' outlaw romance “Queen & Slim” moved up to fourth in its second week with $6.5 million, swapping places with Marielle Heller's Mister Rogers drama “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" ($5.2 million in its third weekend).
Todd Haynes' true-story legal drama “Dark Waters,” starring Mark Ruffalo as a defence attorney who takes on the DuPont chemical company, expanded nationwide to 2,011 theatres. The Focus Features release made $4.1 million.
Celine Sciamma's acclaimed period romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” opened at two locations with a very strong $33,552 per-theatre average. Neon will release the French film wider in February.
Some of the weekend's most widespread movie watching may have been on Netflix, though the streaming service doesn't disclose viewership tallies or box-office receipts.
After a three-week theatrical run, Noah Baumbach's “Marriage Story," one of the year's most critically acclaimed films, began streaming Friday. On Friday, Nielsen said Martin Scorsese's “The Irishman” last weekend drew an average audience of 13.6 million viewers from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1. Netflix has said Nielsen numbers, which only estimate U.S. viewership, reflect an incomplete picture.
Amazon likewise didn't release ticket sales for “The Aeronauts," which opened in 52 theatres over the weekend. Tom Harper's film, which cost $40 million to make, stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones as 19th century balloonists.
A week before it opens in North America, Sony's "Jumanji: The Next Level" debuted in 18 international countries where it made $52.5 million. The sequel to 2017's "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," which grossed $962 million worldwide, is expected to lead the box office next weekend.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included.
1. “Frozen 2,” $34.7 million ($90.2 million international).
2. “Knives Out,” $14.2 million ($18 million international).
3. “Ford v Ferrari,” $6.5 million ($8.3 million international).
4. “Queen & Slim," $6.5 million.
5. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," $5.2 million.
6. “Dark Waters,” $4.1 million.
7. “21 Bridges," $2.9 million.
8. “Playing With Fire," $2 million.
9. “Midway," $1.9 million.
10. “Joker," $1 million.
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP