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Box Office Results: The Hobbit Holds Ron Burgundy at Bay

Source:   Edward Douglas
December 22, 2013


The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

The big new wide release this weekend was the return of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, co-starring Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Kristen Wiig, Christina Applegate, Meagan Good and many more. It opened big on Wednesday with $8.1 million including $2.3 million from Tuesday night previews. That amount dropped to $5.1 million on Thursday, and by the weekend, it had lost a bit more business, forcing it to settle for second place behind last week's #1 movie, Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Over the weekend, Anchorman grossed an estimated $26.8 million, which is less than the $28.4 million of the original Anchorman back in the summer of 2004, although that didn't have a Wednesday opening, nor did it open the weekend before Christmas, which is normally slowed down by people traveling and shopping. Still, it has scored $40 million in its first five days, which is nearly half the gross of the original movie and it should continue to do well through the Christmas holiday.

Internationally, the comedy sequel grossed $13.4 million in 6 markets which was nearly triple the entire foreign gross of the original movie.

"The Desolation of Smaug" had a similar 57% drop in its second weekend as the first installment of Jackson's J.R.R. Tolkien franchise, but still took the top spot with $31.5 million and $127.5 million total. By comparison, the first installment "An Unexpected Journey" had grossed $150 million by the end of its second weekend though it generally had weaker competition in its second weekend, plus it opened over $10 million higher.

The second installment of The Hobbit brought in an additional $96 million overseas with $18.8 million coming from Russia, setting a new opening record for that country. It remained in the top spot at the box office in Germany, the UK, France and Spain bringing its foreign total to $276.3 million and putting its global total over the $400 million mark after just 12 days in theaters across the world.

Third place is a very close race, but Disney's animated musical Frozen continues to be a solid hit, dropping just 15% in its fourth weekend to add another $19.1 million to its domestic gross of $191.5 million. By Christmas Day, it should be the fifth movie released by Walt Disney Pictures to cross the $200 million mark this year out of just 13 movies that will pass that benchmark. Overseas, Frozen added another $35.1 million to bring its international gross to $152.6 million and global total to $344.2 million.

After a solid platform release in New York and Los Angeles, David O. Russell's Golden Globe-nominated American Hustle (Sony), starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner, expanded into 2,507 theaters nationwide, which allowed it to give Frozen a run for third place, also with $19.1 million with a strong $7,619 per theater average. It was probably greatly helped by the awards attention its been receiving and we expect it can continue to do well into the New Year especially once Oscar nominations are announced.

John Lee Hancock's Saving Mr. Banks (Disney), starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell and Paul Giamatti, which went behind the scenes of the making of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, also expanded nationwide into slightly fewer theaters--2,110--but it was hit harder by the pre-Christmas weekend, only grossing an estimated $9.3 million or $4,417 per theater. It also has a good chance at legs, especially if it receives Oscar nominations for its stars or better yet, a Best Picture nod.

Still going strong after its opening pre-Thanksgiving, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate) dropped to sixth place, off just 36% from last weekend, with $8.8 million for the weekend, which brings its domestic total to $371.7 million, a clear second place winner for the year although with the big holiday movie week coming up, it could very well catch up to Iron Man 3 by January or February.

Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas (Lionsgate), co-starring Tika Sumpter, Alicia Witt, Chad Michael Murray, Kathy Najimy and Larry the Cable Guy, took a 47% dip in its second weekend, which is slightly lower than Tyler Perry's normal second weekend drop, probably helped by the Christmas theme. Still, it has only grossed $28.3 million so far and it's not likely to be one of his bigger hits, especially if its business tails off after Christmas Day.

Despite a hit BBC television series and popular live stage show, the 3D animated Walking With Dinosaurs failed to bring in family audiences, who mainly chose to see Frozen or go Christmas shopping, allowing it to only bring in $7.3 million in 3,231 theaters, a pitiful per-theater average of $2,259 per location even with the potential 3D ticket bump.

The third installment of the Bollywood action-thriller Dhoom 3, starring Aamir Khan and directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, set a number of records for a Bollywood movie in North America, bringing in an estimated $3.3 million in just 236 theaters after grossing $1.1 million on Friday. That makes it the first Bollywood movie to make over a million its opening day, as well as surpassing August's Chennai Express for the biggest opening weekend for a Bollywood film in North America. It also scored the highest per-theater average in the Top 10 with just over $14 thousand per site.

10th place was a close race between Marvel Studios' Thor: The Dark World and the Judi Dench-Steve Coogan drama Philomena (The Weinstein Company), both with less than $2 million. Thor: The Dark World becomes the 11th movie of 2013 to cross the $200 million mark and the fourth for Walt Disney Pictures.

The Top 10 grossed $135 million, which was a substantial step up from the pre-Christmas weekend last year, when five new movies opened in wide release but the Top 10 totaled less than $100 million with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey being the only movie to gross more than $16 million over the weekend compared to this week's four movies crossing that mark.

The Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis expanded onto 148 screens following its impressive showing on many critics' year-end Top 10 lists, where it brought in an estimated $1.1 million for 12th place, bringing its total to $2.1 million. No word yet on when or if this one will go wide, but we expect a lot of that will depend on the Oscar nominations on January 16.

Opening in limited release on Wednesday, Spike Jonze's Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and the voice of Scarlett Johansson, brought in $256,815 from its 6 locations or $42.8 thousand per location, which isn't a bad start for the smaller, more personal film that expands into more theaters on Christmas Day and then nationwide on January 10, just before Oscar nominations are announced.

Asghar Farhadi's The Past (Sony Pictures Classics), his follow-up to the Oscar-winning A Separation starring Berenice Beho (The Artist), opened in three theaters in New York and Los Angeles, where it grossed $30.9 thousand or $10.3 thousand per theater.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.



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