Strong November Box Office Falls Just Short of Record
Thanks to huge numbers from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Thor: The Dark World, November box office exceeded $1 billion for the second year in a row. Its $1.07 billion was a bit below last year's $1.09 billion record, though.

Through the end of November, the 2013 domestic box office is neck-and-neck with 2012: year-to-date earnings are $9.87 billion, which is less than $10 million below 2012. With strong holdovers Catching Fire and Frozen and guaranteed blockbusters The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Anchorman: The Legend Continues, it's likely that 2013 comes awfully close to matching 2012's record $10.84 billion.

The uncontested champion in November was The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. After opening to $158.1 million (a new November record) it played well through the Thanksgiving holiday and ended the month with $282.1 million. If Catching Fire holds as well as the last few Twilight movies—not a difficult task for this well-reviewed, broadly-appealing flick—it will end up with over $400 million.

Thor: The Dark World took second place in November with $184.6 million. That's ahead of the first Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. Still, it's nowhere near any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies that include Iron Man, all of which earned over $300 million. Thor: The Dark World should end its domestic run with over $200 million, and will wind up even higher overseas (between $425 and $450 million).

Disney Animation's Frozen had a surprisingly strong late-month debut; through its first four days in nationwide release, Frozen earned an impressive $78.7 million. That's way ahead of the pace set by Tangled at the same point in 2010; with little competition in December, Frozen seems like a lock for a total north of $250 million.

There were also a few modest successes in November. The Best Man Holiday earned $61.6 million through the end of November, which is more than the original movie's total when adjusting for ticket price inflation. With $58.1 million, Last Vegas is now the highest-grossing movie yet for distributor CBS Films. Finally, Free Birds earned a decent $52.9 million.

Without a doubt, the biggest disappointment in November was Ender's Game. The big-budget adaptation of Orson Scott Card's sci-fi novel opened in first place with a solid $27 million, but fell off quickly from there. By the end of the month it had earned $59.2 million, and had slowed to the point where it will barely beat early 2013 flop After Earth ($60.5 million).

Other disappointments include Delivery Man ($18 million) and About Time ($14.6 million), along with a handful of Thanksgiving movies that bombed (Homefront, Black Nativity, Oldboy).

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo, and follow author Ray Subers at @raysubers.

Related Stories

Holiday 2013 Forecast

'Gravity' Dominates Disappointing October

'Insidious' Leads Average September

'Despicable' Drives July to Second-Highest Monthly Gross Ever

'Man of Steel,' 'Monsters U' Lead Record-Setting June

May Kicks Off Summer 2013 With Record Grosses

March Not Strong Enough to Salvage First Quarter of 2013

'Identity Thief' Tops Abysmal February

2012 Holdovers Dominate First Month of 2013

2013 Preview

2012 Recap: Winners & Losers

Domestic Box Office Sets New Yearly Record in 2012

Related Charts

November Calendar Grosses

2013 Grosses (2013-only releases)

Year-to-Date Comparison