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Weekend Box Office Report: December 13-15, 2013

12.15.2013

The Hobbit grabs the gold!

A gigantic dragon didn't scare moviegoers, who put THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG at the top of the box office this weekend with $73.6 million!

The second part of Bilbo Baggins' big adventure opened with less than THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, which started out with $84.6 million last year (compared to each entry in the original LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, which opened with more than the previous). The nasty winter storm that smacked a considerable part of the country probably didn't help... But is it also possible audiences are starting to experience Tolkien fatigue (or at least with director Peter Jackson's additions to the tale)?

Whatever the case, THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG managed to open higher than any of the three LOTR movies -- as well it should, given the premium price for 3D, IMAX and HFR -- and its global total is already over $200 million (AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY finally came to an end with just over one billion worldwide).

Disney's FROZEN was solid in second with another $22.1 million on its fourth weekend in theaters, and a $220.2 global total so far. The Mouse House's chilly fairy tale is proving to be a new favorite, even among the many people across the US who've probably already had their fill of snow and ice and frigid temperatures this year.

FROZEN stayed ahead of Tyler Perry's holiday offering TYLER PERRY'S A MADEA CHRISTMAS, opening in third with $16 million. That's a low mark for Perry's large feminine alter-ego, well below the usual $25+ million openings for MADEA movies (MADEA GOES TO JAIL started off with $41 million back in 2009). It had enough cheer for paying crowds to give it a festive 'A-' CinemaScore, but MADEA's latest may quickly disappear behind the pile of presents that are hitting theaters for Christmas.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE was firmly in fourth with $13.1 million, and while it may be a stretch to reach THE HUNGER GAMES' domestic total of $409.2 million, CATCHING FIRE's $729.9 worldwide total is already beyond the first movie's $691.2 million finish.

Things take a steep plunge after Katniss, with THOR: THE DARK WORLD in fifth place with $2.7 million as it still tries to crack $200 million domestically. OUT OF THE FURNACE was in sixth with $2.9 million, a dip of 55% from its opening last weekend. Vince Vaughn's DELIVERY MAN managed to stay just ahead of award-nominated PHILOMENA and THE BOOK THIEF, while Jason Statham's HOMEFRONT kicked just enough butt to remain in the Top 10.

Outside the chart, THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY exited with DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, while Alexander Payne's black-and-white road trip NEBRASKA is up to $3.3 million on 250 screens. David O. Russell's new 70s swindle AMERICAN HUSTLE sizzled in limited release with $115k per-screen average before it expands wide next week. Tom Hanks' SAVING MR. BANKS, about Disney's struggle to make MARY POPPINS, didn't make quite as strong an impression in its limited release debut with $28k per-screen (it also goes wide next weekend).

Next week brings back mustachioed news king Ron Burgundy and his crack team in ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES (on Wednesday), and audiences get a chance to wander prehistoric times in WALKING WITH DINOSAURS 3D. Spike Jonze's new bizarro romance HER opens in limited release, while AMERICAN HUSTLE, SAVING MR. BANKS and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS all expand.

Which is your favorite of the Tolkien movies? VOTE HERE!

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $73.6 M
NEW
2. Frozen $22.1 M $164.3 M
3. Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas $16 M
NEW
4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $13.1 M $356.9 M
5. Thor: The Dark World $2.7 M $198.1 M
6. Out of the Furnace $2.3 M $9.4 M
7. Delivery Man $1.8 M $27.9 M
8. Philomena $1.7 M $11 M
9. The Book Thief $1.6 M $14.8 M
10. Homefront $1.6 M $18.4 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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8:07AM on 12/16/2013
Loved every minute of The Hobbit this weekend, Smaug was just so damn good in it.
Loved every minute of The Hobbit this weekend, Smaug was just so damn good in it.
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+2
6:56AM on 12/16/2013
No Tolkien fatigue here - really enjoyed The Desolation of Smaug - that river barrel fight was worth the price of the ticket alone!
No Tolkien fatigue here - really enjoyed The Desolation of Smaug - that river barrel fight was worth the price of the ticket alone!
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+0
9:01PM on 12/15/2013
What is HFR? One of the new "ways" to see the new Hobbit movie, and I'm sure a lot of other big budget films. What is it?
And I didn't even know there was a Madea movie out
What is HFR? One of the new "ways" to see the new Hobbit movie, and I'm sure a lot of other big budget films. What is it?
And I didn't even know there was a Madea movie out
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11:43PM on 12/15/2013
HFR is High Frame Rate. People say the movie looks more natural because there are more frames per second than a usual movie.
HFR is High Frame Rate. People say the movie looks more natural because there are more frames per second than a usual movie.
8:58PM on 12/15/2013

Tolkien fatigue?

There is no such thing.

The Desolation of Smaug was amazing, and I'll be seeing it a few more times on the big screen, at least. I'm one of the few people who actually loved An Unexpected Journey more than Smaug.
There is no such thing.

The Desolation of Smaug was amazing, and I'll be seeing it a few more times on the big screen, at least. I'm one of the few people who actually loved An Unexpected Journey more than Smaug.
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8:39PM on 12/15/2013
I'm very happy to see The Hobbit doing well, albeit not surprised. However I am pretty discouraged to see Out of the Furnace at only #6. Talk about a rare, beautifully constructed and brilliantly acted film. If only more people would see movies like that in theaters...then it wouldn't be once in a blue moon when someone made them.
I'm very happy to see The Hobbit doing well, albeit not surprised. However I am pretty discouraged to see Out of the Furnace at only #6. Talk about a rare, beautifully constructed and brilliantly acted film. If only more people would see movies like that in theaters...then it wouldn't be once in a blue moon when someone made them.
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6:42PM on 12/15/2013
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug was terrific. Loved every minute of it and because of that will be anticipating There and Back again with much excitement.
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug was terrific. Loved every minute of it and because of that will be anticipating There and Back again with much excitement.
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4:06PM on 12/15/2013
It opened with less than the last cause less theaters chose to order the very unpopular HFR version.
It opened with less than the last cause less theaters chose to order the very unpopular HFR version.
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-34
2:59PM on 12/15/2013
Am a human, can confirm - sick already of all these LOTR movies.
Am a human, can confirm - sick already of all these LOTR movies.
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8:10PM on 12/15/2013
You must be a Kim Kardashian fan...
You must be a Kim Kardashian fan...
2:46PM on 12/15/2013
Hell yeah to the Hobbit. It was a damn good movie.
Hell yeah to the Hobbit. It was a damn good movie.
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