Hobbit Sequel Knocks Frozen Off Top
Warner Bros.’ The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug debuted in first place last weekend (Dec. 13-15) with $73.65 million. While that was a solid start, it was softer than expected and represented a 13 percent decline from the $84.62 million debut of last year’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The Desolation of Smaug — and the box office in general — took a bit of a hit on Saturday from Winter Storm Electra, which hit a large part of the country. The Desolation of Smaug hopes to hold up at least as well as An Unexpected Journey. However, The Desolation of Smaug will have to compete with a larger number of holiday releases (there are nine films opening in wide release between now and Christmas this year, as opposed to seven during the same period last year).
Disney’s Frozen held up nicely with a second place take of $22.57 million. The blockbuster 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation fell just 29 percent from the previous weekend. Frozen has grossed $164.77 million after 19 days of wide release. With a limited amount of family options entering the marketplace over the rest of the holiday season, Frozen should hold up very well going forward.
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas was off to a sluggish start last weekend with a third place debut of $16.01 million. The latest Madea film from Lionsgate debuted well below pre-release expectations and easily delivered the softest debut ever for the Madea franchise.
Fellow Lionsgate release The Hunger Games: Catching Fire placed in fourth with $13.67 million. The blockbuster sequel starring Jennifer Lawrence fell 48 percent from the previous weekend. The film took a noticeable hit from the arrival of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and losing IMAX screens. Catching Fire has grossed $357.50 million through 24 days of release. That places the film 6 percent ahead of the $336.67 million 24-day take of last year’s The Hunger Games.
In limited release, Sony’s American Hustle was off to a terrific start with $740,455 from just six locations. American Hustle is scheduled to be released in an estimated 2,500 locations next weekend.
In other limited-release news, Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks debuted with $413,373 from 15 locations including here in D.C., while CBS Films’ Inside Llewyn Davis grossed $356,785 from 15 locations in its second weekend of limited release. Saving Mr. Banks is scheduled to be released in an estimated 2,200 locations next weekend, while Inside Llewyn Davis, which has grossed $0.91 million in 10 days, will expand into additional locations next weekend.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|1||N/A||The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug||$73.65M||$73.65M||1|
|3||N/A||Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas||$16.01M||$16.01M||1|
|4||2||The Hunger Games: Catching Fire||$13.67M||$3357.50M||4|
|5||4||Thor: The Dark World||$2.82M||$198.25M||6|
|6||3||Out of the Furnace||$2.43M||$9.57M||2|
|9||7||The Book Thief||$1.73M||$14.94M||6|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.