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Weekend Wrap-Up: Close Battle over Christmas Break

December 30th, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster

We are still dealing with studio estimates for the weekend numbers, but we can at least tell you what film won, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and roughly how much it earned, $41.42 million. The new releases were much closer than expected with Into the Woods and Unbroken both earning just over $30 million over the weekend. Because we don't have enough final numbers, we really can't compare the overall box office to last weekend or last year. So far, the final weekend of 2014 pulled in $200 million and that number should grow a little bit as box office numbers filter in. This is 52% more than last weekend and 2.3% more than the same weekend last year. I'm a little more bullish about January's box office chances after this result.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies held on relatively well earning $41.42 million over the three-day weekend, while its running tally rose to $168.52 million. It should have no trouble getting past $200 million over this coming weekend and with relatively good reviews, $250 million is a solid target. It might catch up to The Desolation of Smaug, but it likely won't match the franchise average.

Into the Woods was next with $31.05 million over the weekend for a four-day opening of $46.14 million. This is better than anticipated, especially its Christmas day opening. Also, with a family-friendly target demographic and its reviews should help its legs. $100 million is practically a sure thing, which is impressive for a live-action musical.

Unbroken was right behind with $30.62 million over the three-day weekend and $46.06 million over four. I think with this result, Angelina Jolie has solidified her position as one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. Granted, the reviews are not great and hopefully her next film has a stronger voice and relies less on genre clichés. That said, assuming the film can hit $100 million domestically and do about the same internationally, then it will break even early in its home market run. That will guarantee Angelina Jolie gets another chance to direct, if she chooses to do so.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb's sophomore stint was about average, given the holidays. The film rose 18% to $20.20 million over the weekend for a ten-day total of $54.73 million. It might still get to $100 million, but this is well below the franchise average. It should still break even, if it can find an audience internationally, but I'm sure the studio was expecting more than this.

Annie had one of the weaker week-to-week result in the top ten, in fact due to its reviews and partly due to direct competition. It still grew, but by only 5% to an estimated $16.6 million over the weekend for a total of $45.8 million after ten days of release. It will top its $65 million production budget domestically, but unless it is a bigger hit internationally, it won't break even any time soon.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 fell out of the top five with $10.06 million over the three-day weekend. However, it still managed to top $300 million in the process with a running tally of $306.72 million after 38 days of release. The film actually made more than Catching Fire made during the same weekend in its run. Since Catching Fire made more than $30 million over the rest of its run, Mockingjay, Part 1 has an excellent chance of overtaking Guardians of the Galaxy for the biggest hit of the year. It was close for a while.

The Gambler opened in seventh place with $9.13 million over the weekend for a four-day debut of $14.13 million. Its per theater average is really low and the reviews are merely mixed. It likely won't have long legs and I don't think it will be remembered by most moviegoers a month from now.

There are two other films of note. Big Hero 6 just managed to cross the $200 million milestone over the weekend. Given its reviews and its legs so far, it could get to between $220 million and $225 million before its run is over. Assuming it can make this much internationally, it will break even before it reaches the home market.

The final film is P.K., which fell 52% dropping from 8th to 17th. However, there is mitigating circumstances. For instance, it is a Bollywood film and these films tend to have really short legs. Also, as a Bollywood film, it was much less likely to get a boost from Christmas. The film still managed to pull in $1.71 million over the weekend for a total of $7.87 million after two. It might get to $10 million, which would be a huge milestone for a Bollywood film.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Annie, Big Hero 6, Into the Woods, Unbroken, The Gambler, P.K., Night at the Museum, The Hobbit, Angelina Jolie Pitt