B.O. Roundup, December 26-28: 'The Hobbit' Leads Historic Holiday Weekend

Sunday, 28 December 2014 11:23 Written by  iamrogue
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
B.O. Roundup, December 26-28: 'The Hobbit' Leads Historic Holiday Weekend

The final weekend of 2014 was a very, very busy one at the domestic box office.

In fact, it was the busiest post-Christmas stretch in history, with moviegoers dropping about $208 million at theaters in North America.  That's enough to unseat the just-after-Christmas frame from 2009, back when Avatar and Sherlock Holmes made hay around the holiday.

This landmark weekend was led by The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in its second consecutive first-place showing, but new releases Unbroken and Into the Woods proved potent as well.

After opening big last weekend, Peter Jackson's last Middle Earth movie doubled down with an estimated $41.4 million from 3,875 theaters, bringing its domestic haul up to a whopping $168.5 million so far. 

Its second weekend atop the box office heap underlined a marked difference in the audience's reaction to this installment.  Its predecessor, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, declined 57% in its second weekend last year, but The Battle of the Five Armies stayed much stronger, shedding only 24% of attendance from its debut weekend.

Globally, this last The Hobbit is already halfway to matching the $1 billion global total of the first, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  Bilbo's last dance has raked in $573.6 million worldwide.

On Christmas Day, however, the halfling had to settle for second place.  Unbroken, the true story of Louis Zamperini, divided critics but trounced The Hobbit when it opened in 3,131 locations on Thursday.  Overall, however, director Angelina Jolie's WWII survival story settled for second place this weekend, collecting $31.7 million, according to current estimates.  That's nothing to sneeze at, especially considering how heavily the film slathers on Zamperini's suffering.

Also worth considering: projections going into the weekend had Unbroken coming in third, not second.  Disney's all-star fairy tale musical Into the Woods was expected to claim second place, but instead slid in behind Unbroken by a hair with an estimated $31.0 million from 2,440 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. 

The two movies are basically neck-and-neck, but the Rob Marshall-directed musical has enjoyed a much friendlier critical reception.  With its remarkable, likable cast, Into the Woods ought to hold strong just as Jolie's movie will probably benefit a bit from some awards season love.

Strong holdovers like Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie helped make this busy weekend happen, as did Mark Wahlberg's Oscar bid The Gambler.  The remake, which proved even more critically split than Unbroken, opened in 2,478 theaters on Christmas and went on to earn $9.3 million, finishing the frame in seventh place.  Keep in mind that this is a dark, R-rated crime drama, though, so that number is also not to be sneezed at.

There was plenty of action outside the top ten.  Big Eyes, the latest from Tim Burton, debuted in much more limited 1,307 locations.  The film, which tells the true story of Margaret and Walter Keane, grossed an estimated $2.9 million over the weekend proper.  Inevitable awards season love for Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz ought to power the decidedly more grown-up Burton film in the long run.

After basically starting an international incident and briefly having its entire release cancelled, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's The Interview opened at 331 independent theaters across the nation, earning $1.8 million over the weekend.  That translates into a $5,471 per-theater average, which is especially impressive considering Sony rolled The Interview out on a variety of at-home formats on Christmas Day.

1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies...........................................$41.4 million...............$168.5 million

2. Unbroken.................................................................................................$31.7 million...............$47.3 million

3. Into the Woods........................................................................................$31.0 million...............$46.1 million

4. Night of the Museum: Secret of the Tomb............................................$20.6 million...............$55.3 million

5. Annie........................................................................................................$16.6 million...............$45.8 million

6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1..............................................$10.0 million...............$306.6 million

7. The Gambler............................................................................................$9.3 million.................$14.3 million

8. The Imitation Game.................................................................................$7.9 million.................$14.6 million

9. Exodus: Gods & Kings...........................................................................$6.7 million.................$52.5 million

10. Wild........................................................................................................$5.4 million.................$16.3 million

This Wednesday, the acclaimed A Most Violent Year joins the box office fray in limited release, while the much-anticipated horror sequel The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death opens on the first Friday of 2015.

Check back next week to find out how the Woman in Black fares against this week's big winners.


More in this category

Follow ROGUE

Latest Trailers

view more »