Monday, December 31, 2012

'Hobbit' leads, with 'Django' and 'Les Mis' not far behind

As the holidays start wrapping up, there's plenty of good cheer to share at the box office. The top seventeen films all earned over $1 million this weekend.  Viewers have many great options to choose from and theatres are busy with people on vacation in search of entertainment. Most releases also went up from last week, a rare occasion in the modern, opening-weekend-driven box office.

After dropping by half its second weekend, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had a second wind, descending just 10% to $32 million. That gives the fantasy a $222 million domestic total to
Django unchained jamie foxxdate, along with nearly half a billion abroad. With many multi-million weekends to come, it looks like J.R.R. Tolkien's novel about Bilbo Baggins will be able to sustain a trilogy.

Debuting in second place, Django Unchained earned $34 million over the weekend and $64 million since its Christmas Day opening. The violent comic Western about a slave's revenge has been an even bigger hit with audiences (93% positive) than critics (89%) positive), and it also earned an "A-" CinemaScore. For many, this movie is a must-see.

Les Misérables had a weekend tally of $28 million, just under Django. However, its $18 million opening on Christmas Day helped propel it to a $67.4 million total, just above director
Les miserables amanda seyfried eddie redmayneQuentin Tarantino's violent antebellum picture. Les Misérables received an "A" grade from viewers. I predict Les Misérables will last slightly longer than Django at the box office, since it will likely attract more selective and older viewers who may wait to see a feature until weeks after it opens.

Parental Guidance, a comedy about the clashing parenting styles of different generations, proved a hit with the holiday crowds, earning $14.8 million over the weekend and $29.6 million since Christmas Day. Although This is 40 started out slow, its  $13.1 million total was up 13% from its debut weekend. The $37 million cumulative means the Universal picture has at least made back its reported $35 million budget. The Guilt Trip may be the big loser in the family-oriented comedy race, totaling just $6.7 million for a total of $21 million, with a reported budget that soared even higher, to $40 million.

Silver Linings Playbook, which expanded into over 700 theatres, placed twelfth while posting a per-screen average of $5,500, higher than almost all the movies that earned more than its $4.1 million weekend total. The Weinstein Co.-distributed romantic comedy has earned $27 million to
Amour emmanuelle rivadate as it slowly expands.

The highest per-screen average went to Zero Dark Thirty, which averaged $63,000 per screen while still playing in only five locations. It won't expand wide for two more weeks. A distant (but still decent) second went to Amour, the well-reviewed critics' favorite that averaged $20,000 per screen. The tear-jerker The Impossible, with an $12,300 per-screen average, posted the third-highest total of the week. That movie will expand wide this Friday along with Promised Land. The issue-based drama, which centers on fracking for natural gas and stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski, had a weak ignition, with $7,600 per screen at 25 locations. The documentary West of Memphis also opened soft, averaging $2,700 per screen in five locations.

This Friday,  Texas Chainsaw 3D will splatter horror content into movie theatres, and Promised Land and The Impossible will expand nationwide.

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