B.O. Roundup, December 13-15: 'The Hobbit' Rides Again with $73.6 million

Sunday, 15 December 2013 14:03 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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B.O. Roundup, December 13-15: 'The Hobbit' Rides Again with $73.6 million

Bilbo Baggins isn't the only one traipsing about in a Scrooge McDuck-style pile of gold this weekend.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened in first place, ranking fourth on the list of all-time biggest debuts in the month of December.

The second installment in the movie trilogy adapting J.R.R. Tolkien's introductory Middle Earth novel earned an estimated $73.6 million from 3,903 locations nationwide.  A year ago, its predecessor The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey set the all-time December record with $84.6 million.  The lukewarm reception to Peter Jackson's first Hobbit film ensured that the second would not surpass An Unexpected Journey.  That last adventure's debut also benefited from a nine-year break after the climax of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Going in to the weekend, Warner Bros. was projecting an opening closer to $80 million for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

3D ticket sales accounted for 49% of the event movie's domestic haul.  That figure includes IMAX 3D, which accounted for 12.5% of the total.

The latest Hobbit is cleaning up around the world, earning $131.2 million from foreign markets for a current global total of $204.8 million.

Disney's Frozen held strong in second place, while the week's only other new wide release, Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, debuted in third place.  The eighth comedy starring Perry as his signature character earned an estimated $16.0 million from 2,194 theaters.  That makes it the third-lowest opening for a film from the ubiquitous writer-director.  Still, A Madea Christmas ought to ultimately cross the $40 million mark.

In limited release, David O. Russell's American Hustle and Disney hagiography Saving Mr. Banks opened in six and fifteen locations, respectively.  Russell's ensemble earned $690,000 for a tremendous per-theater average of $115,000.  Saving Mr. Banks, meanwhile, started out with $421,000.

Here are the top ten movies in America for the weekend of December 13th through 15th:

1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug                   $73.6 million              New Release

2. Frozen                                                                       $22.1 million              $164.3 million

3. Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas                            $16.0 million              New Release

4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire                          $13.1 million              $356.9 million

5. Thor: The Dark World                                               $2.7 million               $198.1 million

6. Out of the Furnace                                                    $2.3 million              $9.4 million

7. Delivery Man                                                             $1.8 million              $27.9 million

8. Philomena                                                                 $1.7 million              $11.0 million

9. The Book Thief                                                          $1.6 million              $14.8 million

10. Homefront                                                               $1.6 million              $18.4 million

The holiday movie season continues over the coming week with Anchorman 2 hitting on Wednesday and Walking with Dinosaurs on Friday.


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