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'Catching Fire,' 'Frozen' heat up Thanksgiving film box office

Cast member Jennifer Lawrence attends the premiere of the film "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" in New York, November 20, 2013. REUTERS/Car
Cast member Jennifer Lawrence attends the premiere of the film "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" in New York, November 20, 2013. REUTERS/Car

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Action film "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" led the North American box office with ticket sales of $35.6 million over the first two days of the long U.S. Thanksgiving weekend that began on Wednesday, while Disney's animated "Frozen," sold a hefty $26.3 million.

"Catching Fire," the second installment of the "Hunger Games" franchise, grossed $14.9 million on Thursday's Thanksgiving Day holiday according to studio Lions Gate. That broke the record previously held by "Toy Story 2," which earned $13.1 million on Thanksgiving in 1999, according to Rentrak.

The film, starring Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence as heroine Katniss Everdeen, was released on November 22 and has earned $222 million at the domestic box office to date. Industry insiders are projecting that "Catching Fire" is likely to take $90 million from Wednesday to Sunday.

Disney's "Frozen," inspired by "The Snow Queen" fairytale, is the story of a Scandinavian princess who must reconnect with her sister, the Queen, who has the power of freezing anything into ice with her hands and accidentally sets off a long winter that is destroying their kingdom. The film is projected to earn upwards of $40 million at the domestic box office according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.

Superhero film "Thor: The Dark World," part of Disney's Marvel universe, had ticket sales of $4.3 million between Wednesday and Thursday, bringing its cumulative domestic total to $175.6 million since its release on November 8.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Ronald Grover and Eric Walsh)

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