Well, now we know why the box office was so incredibly light last week: everyone was waiting to see things this week! Although 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' clung to the top spot for the third week in a row, it was a very tight race, with only $4 million separating the top three films.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$32,920,000 (-10.9)$8,029$222,703,000
2Django Unchained$30,688,000$10,195$64,008,000
3Les Miserables$28,027,000$9,981$67,466,000
4Parental Guidance$14,800,000$4,396$29,589,000
5Jack Reacher$14,010,000 (-10.2)
6This is 40$13,186,000 (+13.9)$4,525$37,116,000
7Lincoln$7,509,000 (+35.9)$3,819$132,039,000
8The Guilt Trip$6,700,000 (+24.3)$2,756$21,102,000
9Monsters, Inc.$6,363,000 (+33.3)$2,430$18,490,000
10Rise of the Guardians$4,900,000 (-16.9)$2,384$90,230,000


What's most interesting about 'The Hobbit's victory at the box office this week is the 10% drop, a minuscule number for films of this size. Last week, there was tons of chatter about what the massive drop-off from the first week meant for the film's prospects, but a third weekend this strong proves that all of that talk was for naught. With no direct competition in the coming month, Peter Jackson's latest Middle Earth epic should easily reach $300 million (although the extreme heights of 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King' may be beyond its reach).

In the number two spot, Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' took in $30.6 million, an impressive number for an instantly controversial, R-rated movie. When combined with its holiday take, the film has a current gross of $64 million, which puts it on a fast road to becoming Tarantino's biggest film yet. Unless something goes wrong, there's no way 'Django Unchained' doesn't top 'Inglourious Basterd's $120 million haul.

Like 'Django,' the opening weekend of 'Les Miserables' is impressive. Also like 'Django,' it's even more impressive when you look at its gross from over the entire holiday week. Tom Hooper's adaptation of the iconic musical grossed $28 million over the weekend but has a total haul of $67.4 million. If audiences continue to flock to it like they have flocked to the stage show for decades, this could be a massive smash hit.

The final new release of the week, 'Parental Guidance,' opened in the number four slot with weekend gross of $14 million and a total holiday gross of $29 million. Not bad for the worst film of the year.

What do make of 'Jack Reacher' and 'This Is 40,' which claimed spots five and six? Both aren't doing great, but the former only took a minor drop and the latter actually saw a percentage increase. Neither are destined to be particularly big hits, but if January is slow, they may be able to crawl to respectable grosses.

The seasonal bump also extended to 'Lincoln,' 'The Guilt Trip' and the 3D re-release of 'Monsters, Inc,' all of which saw sizable increases over last week. The largest bump went to 'Lincoln,' which is now within spitting distance of $150 million. If the awards season is kind, it's entirely possible to imagine it landing around $175 (although $200 million is a possibility, albeit a distant one).

Outside of the top ten, 'Skyfall' celebrated a special victory. In addition to officially outgrossing 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2' (and, with $289 million in the bank, ensuring $300 million domestically), the latest James Bond film has officially broken the $1 billion mark worldwide. That's huge. That's enormous. That's special. There's no way 007's taking about four years off.

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