In a result that surprised absolutely no one, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey earned first place on top of the chart this weekend. It earned more than the entire box office earned last weekend leading to a 70% increase week-over-week to $136 million. Compared to last year, the box office was 15% higher, as The Hobbit made more than last year's three wide releases opened with combined. Year-to-date, 2012 has earned $10.19 billion, which is 6.1% higher than last year's pace. Additionally, the year is about $100 million away from topping 2011's final tally. It should have no trouble surpassing that total some time over the weekend. On the other hand, it is still far behind the record set by 2009.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened in first place with $84.62 million and along the way set many records for the month of December, including biggest weekend and biggest day. The film's reviews are good for a wide release, but disappointing compared to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Will that hurt its legs? It will probably has some effect; however, it's the last monster release of the winter and it is the last sure-fire $100 million hit coming out this year, so it could remain on top of the chart till some time in the New Year.
Rise of the Guardians remained in second place with $7.14 million over the weekend for a total of $71.09 million after four. There's not a lot of direct competition opening over the next week, and with Christmas and New Year's Day right around the corner, the film could stick around in theaters long enough to reach $100 million.
Lincoln reached the $100 million mark on Thursday and followed up by climbing a spot to third place with $7.03 million over the weekend. It currently has $107.69 after five weeks of wide release (and a week of limited release) and as long as it keeps earning Awards Season success, it will stick around in theaters for a while longer.
Skyfall fell from first to fourth with $6.56 million over the weekend for a running tally of $271.92 million. It will likely fail to reach $300 million, but since very few people thought it would reach $200 million, this is still a stunning result.
Life of Pi rounded out the top five, again, with $5.41 million over the weekend for a total of $69.57 million after four weeks of release. It is struggling compared to its production budget, but the film it doing much better internationally.
The Met: Live in HD - Aida opened in ninth place with $2.6 million in just 800 theaters. This is a very popular opera, but I was still not expecting this result. After all, opera as a whole is a niche market.
Playing for Keeps was the only sophomore film this week and it did quite well down just 45%. However, it bombed in its debut, so this meant it only earned $3.15 million over the weekend for a total of $10.74 million after two. It will likely all but disappear over the next week as eight films open wide.
Date posted: 2012-12-17