Queen & Slim exceeded box office expectations after pulling in an estimated $11.7 million over the weekend and $15.8 million during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday period, according to Comscore.
The Universal Pictures release slightly surpassed studio projections, which had it opening in the low-teens over five days. The drama played in 1,690 locations for a per theater average of $6,923.
The film received positive reviews with an 84 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics describing it as “powerful,” and “emotionally explosive,” with a “bitter commentary on modern race relations.”
“Queen & Slim was a strong performer over the Thanksgiving frame by benefiting from solid reviews, a great cast, solid marketing and a must-see aura surrounding the film,” Comscore Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Urban Hollywood 411. “Though the film landed in the fifth spot overall, it should enjoy strong playability in the coming weeks as buzz for the film continues to build.”
Helmed by music video director Melina Matsoukas, the drama is written by Lena Waithe from a story conceived by James Frey. It cost just under $20 million to produce.
Often described as a modern take on the legend of Bonnie and Clyde, the drama follows a black couple on a forgettable first date after meeting on Tinder. During the drive home, the two are pulled over by a white cop for a minor traffic infraction and the situation escalates with tragic results.
The film stars Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith. Chloe Sevigny, Bokeem Woodbine, and Indya Moore round out the main cast.
Elsewhere at the box office, Disney’s Frozen 2 held onto the top spot with an impressive $85.2 million take over the three-day period and $123.7 million over five days.
The animated adventure is directed by Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck, and shattered the previous five-day Thanksgiving record of $109 million set by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in 2013.
The Frozen sequel brings back the classic characters Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, and features the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Evan Rachel Wood, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Sterling K. Brown. After its tenth day in theaters, Frozen 2 has earned a stunning $287.6 million in North America.
In second place, Lionsgate’s Knives Out carved out a $27 million opening for the weekend and $41.7 million over the five-day holiday frame. The murder mystery stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Ana de Armas, Lakeith Stanfield, and Katherine Langford. It’s directed by Rian Johnson.
Fox’s Ford V. Ferrari took third with $13.2 million over the weekend and $19.0 million in five days.
Sony’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood rang up a weekend total of $11.8 million and $17.2 million over five days for a fourth place finish. The film features Tom Hanks as late children’s TV favorite, Fred Rogers, and is directed by Marielle Heller.
As previously noted, Queen & Slim rounded out the top five.
With 2019 nearing its end, box office receipts are down 5.6 percent year-to-date. Still, the numbers were worse heading into Thanksgiving.
“The YTD deficit was knocked down by 1.4 percent vs. a week ago,” Dergarabedian explained. “A solid, though not record-breaking Thanksgiving holiday at the box office delivered a much needed boost to the overall marketplace.”