The Hobbit: BOFA has opened the New Year's box office with another reign at the top of the charts, following its predecessors, which also spent three weeks at No. 1. It came in with $21 million over the weekend, which is less than either of the previous films made on their respective third weekends, but enough to rule once more. Meanwhile, Unbroken and Into the Woods are having a parallel run, as Into the Woods turned out to have actually topped Unbroken last week and did so again this time, coming in with $19 million while Unbroken earned $18 million. The Disney musical now has $91 million in the pot, Unbroken $87 million, both successes, at least financially (awards hype for both has died down considerably due to mixed-negative reviews).
The first new release of the year was The Woman in Black 2 (above), which actually overperformed, coming in with $15 million, much to the surprise of everyone, including the studio. Horror fans are clearly starved for anything they can get, seeing as this cheapie sequel didn't have the first one's main attraction, Daniel Radcliffe in it. Night at the Museum rounded out the top five, dipping 29% for $14 million and a $137 million total, just about enough to break even with its budget.
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies- $21.9 million
- Into the Woods- $19 million
- Unbroken- $18.4 million
- The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death- $15 million
- Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb- $14.5 million
The more interesting box office news is what's happening in limited release these last holiday weeks, with The Imitation Game increasing its haul this weekend by 2% despite the theater count remaining flat (747) and making it to No. 7 with an outstanding $30 million dollar haul after only six weekends in limited release. It's now outgrossed all of the specialty releases of 2014 besides Grand Budapest Hotel, and should have along way to go with Oscar nominations right around the corner. American Sniper is also doing incredible business so far on just 4 screens, adding 640k for a $2 million total and set go wide on the 16th, and Selma also perked up some, bringing in $645k from 22 screens and set for wide release next weekend. Finally, the last release of 2014, A Most Violent Year (above), came out on New Year's Eve and did very well at 4 theaters, earning $188k- not bad for small film from a tiny studio (A24)- arthouse fans must have been paying attention to the reviews. Next week it's the previously mentioned wide release of Selma, along with Taken 3, the annual Liam Neeson winter actioner. See you then!