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Weekend Estimates: Hobbit Enjoys $50 Million Swansong

December 21st, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster

After thirteen years (with a lengthy break in the middle), Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth Saga finally comes to an end this weekend with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Tolkein/Jackson fans are giving the franchise a rousing farewell, with $50 million expected this weekend and $90 million in total after five days. Comparisons are a little difficult, because the previous Hobbit installments opened on Fridays, but Desolation of Smaug racked up $86 million in its first five days and An Unexpected Journey hit $100 million on its fifth day in release. So this outing seems set to perform similarly overall, with $250 million – $300 million domestically and around $1 billion worldwide. That will solidify the franchise as the fourth-most successful in history, and if it can top $1.079 billion in this outing, it will be the only franchise ever to average more than $1 billion globally per film.

A long way behind Battle of the Five Armies this weekend, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb will fall a long way short of the openings enjoyed by previous films in its franchise, with Fox expecting $17.3 million over three days. It should have a good run through the holidays, at least, which will also be the hope for Sony’s Annie. The musical is headed for a $16.3 million opening, which isn’t particularly good news for a studio that could do with some right now.

Several films are posting impressive numbers in limited release. Perhaps the most impressive is the $3.5 million opening for Bollywood comedy P.K., which will be enough to put it in the top 10 for the weekend. Also in the top 10, Wild will pick up another $4.15 million from 1,061 theaters. It looks as though Fox Searchlight have timed its expansion perfectly, and it should reap good rewards as counter-programming over the next couple of weeks.

Four other films are posting blockbuster averages this weekend in very limited release. Inherent Vice tops the list again with $147,000 in five theaters for an average of $29,400. The Imitation Game isn’t far behind with $894,700 projected from 34 theaters and an average of $26,315. Two new releases also have reasons to be cheerful: Mr. Turner launches with $108,638 in five theaters, for an average of $21,728; and animated adventure Song of the Sea will earn around $18,000 from a single theater.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Inherent Vice, The Imitation Game, Mr. Turner, Wild, Song of the Sea, P.K., Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, Night at the Museum