This weekend The Hobbit beat out Anchorman 2 for the #1 spot, but almost everything that opens on this particular weekend of the year has crazy strong legs over the next couple months, so it's pretty much good news for every movie. The Hobbit fell 61% and pulled in $31 million, while the heavily promoted Anchorman 2 scored $26 million over the weekend, but $40 million since opening on Wednesday. The movie got a "B" Cinemascore, which isn't terrific, but probably not very meaningful in this case, since the movie will play very well over the holidays as the only comedy in release, and the Anchorman movies tend to benefit from repeat viewings in the first place. In any case, it's already made half of the original's total domestic gross ($85 million).
In third was Frozen with $19 million, which is holding on insanely well, and set to pass $200 million in the next week (and likely to continue on strongly, as winter break for the kids is here and there are still no other viable family films in release). American Hustle took fourth with $19.1 million, which is almost identical to Argo's wide release opening last year. The movie also got a fairly average "B+" Cinemascore, but time will tell if that's meaningless as well, considering the holiday season. It's a major Oscar contender with outstanding reviews, which will likely drive its box office high in the coming weeks, especially after the nominations come in in January. It's a similar story for Saving Mr. Banks, which opened wide to about $9 million, not very impressive, but still on course to do well with Oscar buzz and the Christmas break. It also got a better rating from audiences, with a solid "A," and played to an older crowd (over 35), which comes out for movies at a slower pace, so for now it's on a pretty good track.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug- $31.5 million
- Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues- $26.8 million
- Frozen- $19.2 million
- American Hustle- $19.1 million
- Saving Mr. Banks- $9.3 million
Walking With Dinosaurs bombed this weekend, with just $7 million from over 3,000 theaters, so the audience just was not there for this intended family film, which also got terrible reviews. Meanwhile, Inside Llewyn Davis expanded to 148 theaters and took in an impressive $1.1 million. Next week it's Christmas, which means a LOT of new releases, including The Wolf of Wall Street, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 47 Ronin, and Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone in Grudge Match, with limited releases for August: Osage County, Lone Survivor, and Labor Day. See you next week!