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Weekend Box Office: December 21-23, 2012

Dec. 23, 2012by:
100%

A hard Hobbit to break!

Although his box office returns dropped by more than 50% since last week, Bilbo Baggins still triumphed over all competitors as THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY took tops this weekend with $36.7 million.

Director Peter Jackson's reunion with Tolkien's creations has gathered nearly $150 million domestically in ten days, and almost twice that amount from international crowds (its worldwide total is currently $433.8M). While that puts it not even halfway to the totals of FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (never mind the billion-plus global take of RETURN OF THE KING), audiences should continue turning out to see the Middle Earth meandering well into January.

Tom Cruise's pocket-sized punisher JACK REACHER didn't seem to be a strong draw for the holiday season, parking in a distant second place with $15.6 million. The adaptation of novelist Lee Child's itinerant antihero didn't cost much (a reported $60M budget) but its opening certainly lags behind the megastar's other recent actioners MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL ($29.5M) and KNIGHT AND DAY ($20.1M).

Coming in third with $12 million was another new release, filmmaker Judd Apatow's latest comedy THIS IS 40. The pseudo-sequel to KNOCKED UP also hasn't seen particularly positive critical or audience response, opening substantially lower than 2009's FUNNY PEOPLE ($22.6M), so it may have some struggles considering adult audiences will have other new options shortly.

As the only release with any Christmas theme, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS continues to benefit -- it's not exactly racking up the digits, but it's holding firm chart placement after five weeks in theaters. Spielberg's LINCOLN is still standing tall, casting a shadow over the new Rogen/Streisand travel comedy THE GUILT TRIP and Pixar's 3D reissue of MONSTERS, INC., both of which opened Wednesday and barely hit $5 million over the weekend.

Filling out the chart, SKYFALL still edges toward $1 billion worldwide, LIFE OF PI now has a respectable $235.7M global total, and THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN (PART 2) has now officially surpassed BREAKING DAWN (PART 1) domestically and sits atop the franchise's worldwide list with $783M.

Outside the Top 10, RED DAWN, WRECK-IT RALPH and PLAYING FOR KEEPS all said their goodbyes while the new acrobat fantasy CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAY grabbed $2.2M on 840 screens and the limited release of the acclaimed ZERO DARK THIRTY scored a per-screen average nearly ten times that of THE HOBBIT. Other award-seekers opening in limited release to less enthusiasm were the tsunami drama THE IMPOSSIBLE, the Kerouac adaptation ON THE ROAD, the elder romance AMOUR, and NOT FADE AWAY, the drama from "The Sopranos" creator David Chase.

Next week kicks off your Christmas celebration with Tuesday releases of Quentin Tarantino's violent "Southern" DJANGO UNCHAINED, the latest big-screen adaptation of LES MISERABLES and the Billy Crystal family comedy PARENTAL GUIDANCE (in fact the widest release of the three), plus the expansion of SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, while the Matt Damon drama PROMISED LAND opens in limited release on Friday.

Will you be going to the movies on Christmas? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $36.7 M $149.8 M
2. Jack Reacher $15.6 M
NEW
3. This Is 40 $12 M
NEW
4. Rise of the Guardians $5.9 M $79.6 M
5. Lincoln $5.6 M $116.7 M
6. The Guilt Trip $5.3 M $7.4 M
7. Monsters Inc. 3D $5 M $6.5 M
8. Skyfall $4.7 M $279.9 M
9. Life of Pi $3.8 M $76.1 M
10. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 2) $2.6 M $281.6 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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10:53AM on 12/24/2012
a Hard Hobbit to Break. genius. lol
a Hard Hobbit to Break. genius. lol
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9:31AM on 12/24/2012
That's great for the Hobbit, but disappointed about Jack Reacher. I wish it did better. I never read the novels, but heard a lot about them. The best thing about the movie was Rosamund Pike.
That's great for the Hobbit, but disappointed about Jack Reacher. I wish it did better. I never read the novels, but heard a lot about them. The best thing about the movie was Rosamund Pike.
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12:30PM on 12/24/2012
And her cleavage! The movie was also funnier than I expected.
And her cleavage! The movie was also funnier than I expected.
2:29PM on 12/24/2012
The novels are a good mix of violence, mystery and humor. You can tell some people had their hearts in the right place -when they tried to make the movie, but ultimately they missed the mark by trying to make this a [link] Cruise did a fine job as always, I just don't like how the Reacher series was handled.
The novels are a good mix of violence, mystery and humor. You can tell some people had their hearts in the right place -when they tried to make the movie, but ultimately they missed the mark by trying to make this a [link] Cruise did a fine job as always, I just don't like how the Reacher series was handled.
7:33AM on 12/24/2012
I'm a big fan of the Jack Reacher novels and I'm a little disappointed that hollywood used the series to try to ride the coattails of the Mission Impossible franchise. If they make another Reacher movie (and I'm sure they will) please do it right (e.g. actually get someone of towering size and title it after the name of the book, not the character). It really does have the potential to be a grittier Bond-like franchise.
I'm a big fan of the Jack Reacher novels and I'm a little disappointed that hollywood used the series to try to ride the coattails of the Mission Impossible franchise. If they make another Reacher movie (and I'm sure they will) please do it right (e.g. actually get someone of towering size and title it after the name of the book, not the character). It really does have the potential to be a grittier Bond-like franchise.
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8:20PM on 12/23/2012
Yes all those movies out right now just scream out holiday cheer?
Yes all those movies out right now just scream out holiday cheer?
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4:08PM on 12/23/2012

Double post

Dammit, I did it again!
Dammit, I did it again!
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4:04PM on 12/23/2012
Finally saw "The Hobbit" and it was a great and fun time, thought it took a while to gets things cookin'.

Shame about "Jack Reacher", but not much of a surprise. since someone was dumb enough to release it right after "The Hobbit" and before "Django Unchained". Moreover, the Newtown tragedy is still fresh in the public's mind, and the fact that the plot of "Jack Reacher" revolves around a seemingly random shooting probably hit too close to home for some.
Finally saw "The Hobbit" and it was a great and fun time, thought it took a while to gets things cookin'.

Shame about "Jack Reacher", but not much of a surprise. since someone was dumb enough to release it right after "The Hobbit" and before "Django Unchained". Moreover, the Newtown tragedy is still fresh in the public's mind, and the fact that the plot of "Jack Reacher" revolves around a seemingly random shooting probably hit too close to home for some.
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12:32PM on 12/24/2012
That opening scene was absolutely chilling and uncomfortable, that's for sure.
That opening scene was absolutely chilling and uncomfortable, that's for sure.
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