Weekend Box Office Report: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ Wins the Weekend

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Warner Bros.

As expected, ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ won the weekend, but a quick examination of the actual numbers makes this victory feel just a little hollow. The same goes for ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ and ‘Annie,’ both of which took second and third place without putting forward particularly impressive numbers. Yep, the holiday box office looked just a little rough this weekend.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies $56,220,000 $14,508 $90,627,000
2 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb $17,300,000 $4,571 $17,300,000
3 Annie $16,300,000 $5,321 $16,300,000
4 Exodus: Gods and Kings $8,065,000 (-66.6) $2,302 $38,902,000
5 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 $7,750,000 (-38.9)
$2,442 $289,227,000
6 Wild $4,150,000 (+171.1) $3,911 $7,211,000
7 Top Five $3,570,000 (-48.2) $2,731 $12,456,000
8 BIg Hero 6 $3,563,000 (-41.2) $1,480 $190,441,000
9 Penguins of Madagascar $3,525,000 (-51.1) $1,297 $64,172,000
10 P.K. $3,500,000 $12,868 $3,500,000

Let’s take a look at ‘The Hobbit,’ which grossed $56 million over the weekend. That number by itself is a significant plummet from the previous films in the series (and a stiff drop from a few of the original ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies, too). The only reason we can’t label this a huge failure is because this was a Wednesday release and when you take that into account, the film has taken in a far more impressive $90 million. So things could be okay for Peter Jackson’s final Middle-earth movie, but ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ fell off hard after an impressive opening. If this continues to follow the downward spiral trend, this movie could very well be in trouble already. However, it is the shortest movie in the entire series, so the increased number of showtimes may give it a leg up.

In second place, ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ struggled right from the start. Opening to far less money than the previous films, the third movie in the series looks like it could be the first to struggle to $100 million (while the others cleared it easily). There’s always the chance that a lot of families are waiting to check this one out next weekend, when everyone is officially on vacation. And then there’s the fact that a lot of family-friendly movies stick around for awhile and rack up their money slowly, which may very well be the case here. But right now: oof.

Speaking of oof, the new version of ‘Annie’ opened with a weak $16 million. Some will blame the Sony hack for this opening (the film has been available illegally for weeks), but the real culprit here is either the bad reviews or the poor marketing or both. However, this is the cheapest film among the new releases, so it could rally with good word-of-mouth. Maybe over the Christmas weekend?

The rest of the top 10 this week is essentially the greatest hits of the past month doing their thing, but ‘Wild’ has proven itself to be quite the contender in limited release. Expanding to even more theaters, the Reese Witherspoon drama shot up a spectacular 171% to leap into sixth place with $4.1 million, bringing the film’s current total to $7.2 million. With Oscar nominations on the horizon, it should be able to ride all of the awards buzz to a strong final gross.

As for the rest...

Exodus: Gods and Kings’ fell a disastrous 66%, grossing $8 million for a $38 million total. Considering the film’s huge price tag, this is a disaster of massive proportions stateside (foreign grosses may save it).

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’ started to lose some serious momentum, grossing only $7 million for a $289 million total. That would be a great number if the previous two films didn’t make $400 million-plus. At this rate, it's looking unlikely that it will overtake ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to be the highest grossing film of the year.

In the final stretch, ‘Top Five’ took a big (and expected) drop while ‘Big Hero 6’ continued its slow march to $200 million. At this point, everyone is just sitting around, waiting for the arrival of Christmas Day and its big selection of new releases. That will be a far more interesting day than this one.

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