Last week I ended my box office report by asking how much The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies would earn its opening weekend. What I neglected is that its opening would be on Wednesday, not Friday. Nevertheless, the finale drummed up a healthy five-day haul of $90 million, including an estimated $56 million Friday through Sunday. Despite middling reviews, the opening was the second-lowest three-day total since the opening of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. Worldwide it off to a strong start. The previous weekend it raked in $120 million and pushed those international grosses to $265M total after two weeks. The big question is if it will be able to reach $1 billion, which the first Hobbit installment was able to accomplish. Even The Desolation of Smaug was able to net $950M globally.
Opening in second place was Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. As the second sequel in the Museum franchise its $17.3 million weekend is the worst in the series. This is a franchise that started in 2006 when Night at the Museum opened up to $30 million on its way to $250M domestic. Three years later, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian had a monster $54M opening and finished with $177 million. It has been five years between sequels and it is obvious that the law of diminishing returns is weighed heavily. The bright side is that most kids will be on Christmas break for the next few weeks, so Secret of the Tomb will play well with families during the weekdays leading up to and after Christmas. The same can also be said of Sony Pictures’ Annie remake. It finished with $16.3 million.
As for last week’s #1, Exodus: Gods and Kings lost 66.6% (6-6-6, really?) of its first week audience as it plummeted from first to fourth place with $8 million. Less than $40 million its first two weeks for an epic that cost upwards of $140 million. And international numbers aren’t that hot, either.
The biggest mover and shaker in the top 10 is Fox Searchlight’s Wild starring Reese Witherspoon. Expanding to a little more than 1,000 theaters, its attendance jumped 171% from last week, and it grossed $4.1M in the process to finish in sixth place, between The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Chris Rock’s Top Five. The other newcomer to the top ten is the performance of the Bollywood release P.K.. Debuting on 272 screens, the 153-minute comedy-fantasy finished with $3.5M, and it had the second-best per-screen average of films in the top 10.
In limited release, Sony Pictures Classics’ Mr. Turner had a strong $21.8k per screen average from five theaters, and the GKIDS’ animated Song of the Sea scored $18k from one screen.
On tap for Christmas Eve are the wide openings of The Gambler, Into the Woods, Unbroken. And in limited release are Oscar hopefuls American Sniper (4 screens) and Selma (19 screens).
01. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies — $56.2 Million ($90.6M)
02. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb — $17.3 Million
03. Annie — $16.3 Million
04. Exodus: Gods and Kings — $8 Million ($38.9M)
05. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 — $7.75 Million ($289.2M)
06. Wild — $4.15 Million ($7.2M)
07. Top Five — $3.57 Million ($12.45M)
08. Big Hero 6 — $3.56 Million ($190.4M)
09. Penguins of Madagascar — $3.52 Million ($64.17M)
10. P.K. — $3.5 Million
Tags: box office, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Wild