This weekend, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug topped the box office with $73.6 million, unexpectedly down from the first film's $84 million debut at this time last year. That's a 13% drop, but still the fourth best December opening ever, and given the fact that the last movie finished with $303 million domestic but $1 billion worldwide, there's really no cause for disappointment here. The film also received better reviews than An Unexpected Journey and was issued an "A-" Cinemascore, so it should play well in the coming weeks.
Disney's Frozen held on to second place with a very strong $22 million, falling just 30% to amass a $164 million total after three weeks. It's continuing to have strong legs with the lack of competition from other family films and should finish with about $280 million or more (a better result than Disney's last princess film Tangled, which earned $200 million on a more expensive budget than Frozen, which has already made its money back). In third was Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, which came in with just $16 million, the lowest-ever opening for a Madea movie. The film may hold up better, since it received an "A-" from audiences, but that's still a disappointment on its $25 million budget. Catching Fire and Thor rounded out the top five this weekend, the former still on track to break the $400 million mark and tie the first one's total.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug- $73.6 million
- Frozen- $22.2 million
- A Madea Christmas- $16.2 million
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire- $13.2 million
- Thor: The Dark World- $2.7 million
In limited release, American Hustle debuted with the biggest limited opening of the year, pulling in $115,000 per theater on only six screens. The movie goes wide next weekend and looks to be a major success, the second this year for the on fire Jennifer Lawrence. Saving Mr. Banks also opened in 15 theaters for a $28,000 avg, which is fairly solid as it will also expand wide next weekend. Aside from those two, the other major release next week is Anchorman 2, coming out on Wednesday. Until then.