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Weekend Box Office Report: December 27-29, 2013

12.29.2013

The Domination of Smaug!

Well, there's no place like Middle Earth for the holidays -- THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG retained the #1 spot at box office this weekend with another $29.8 million!

Now that people were no longer as busy with their holiday parties and last-minute shopping, the masses made their way to the multiplexes (DESOLATION OF SMAUG's post-Christmas weekend came close to last week's $31.5 million three-day take). The middle chapter of Peter Jackson's THE HOBBIT trilogy also won a crowded Christmas Day, taking in $9.3 million to keep it just ahead of Martin Scorsese's equally lengthy R-rated exorbitance THE WOLF OF WALL STREET.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG is also rapidly approaching the $200 million mark domestically, and the Gandalf-chaperoned adventurers ambled past half a billion worldwide during the week.

Fitting for the chilly weather and gathered families, FROZEN came in a close second with $28.8 million. Disney's icy computer-animated fairy tale is proving to be a robust crowd favorite, with nearly $500 million worldwide since its Thansgiving release.

After a sketchy start, ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES stayed classy in third with $20.1 million as it also crossed $100 million worldwide. David O. Russell's 70s scam AMERICAN HUSTLE wasn't far behind with $19.5 million as it continues gathering steam toward awards season.

As for the Christmas Day releases, Scorsese and DiCaprio's divisive offering THE WOLF OF WALL STREET grabbed the most money (appropriately) with $18.5 million and fifth place for the weekend, and $34.4 million since its second-place Wednesday opening. Ben Stiller's remake of THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY started in fourth on Christmas but slid to seventh for the weekend with $13 million and just over $25 million total.

Keanu Reeves' expensive fantasy 47 RONIN got carved up like a holiday ham, placing ninth with only $9.8 million and just over $20 million total -- an inauspicious beginning for a movie that may have cost over $200 million (good thing Universal also had DESPICABLE ME 2 and FAST AND THE FURIOUS 6 in 2013, to help offset this and fellow flopper R.I.P.D.).

But demon-fighting Keanu still held more audience appeal than senior-citizen boxers Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro, whose pugilism comedy GRUDGE MATCH got its bell rung in ninth place on Christmas and got knocked out of the Top 10 over the weekend with $7.3 million for the three-day, and $13.4 million since Wednesday.

As is often the case, there was considerable disparity between paying customers and critical reactions -- 47 RONIN, WALTER MITTY and GRUDGE MATCH all received a 'B+' CinemaScore from moviegoers, yet each got trounced by critics (Rotten Tomatoes averages of 12% for 47 RONIN, 47% for MITTY and 21% for GRUDGE MATCH). And while the majority of critics appreciated the irreverent bacchanalia of Marty's WOLF OF WALL STREET (76% on RT), the boisterous debauchery left audiences shrugging with a 'C' CinemaScore.

And OMG Justin Bieber's fanbase may have abandoned him for One Direction or some other singing haircuts -- the Bieber documentary BELIEVE opened on 1000 screens but only made $2 million over the weekend and $4.2 million since Christmas.

For the remaining releases on the list, SAVING MR. BANKS got a bump over last weekend's total, THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE is the second-highest grossing release of 2013 and looks likely to surpass the first HUNGER GAMES' $408 million domestic finish, and TYLER PERRY'S A MADEA CHRISTMAS got a burst of holiday attention to stay in sight.

Outside the chart, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS wandered away after one week along with THOR: THE DARK WORLD and the Hindi actioner DHOOM 3, while MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM expanded to 975 screens for $2.4 million. In limited release, the drama AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY opened with a $35k per-screen average, bested by the Mark Wahlberg-starring Navy SEAL story LONE SURVIVOR with $46k per-screen.

Next weekend allows everyone to recuperate from the holidays with just one new wide release, the horror spinoff PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES.

What January release are you most interested in seeing? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $29.8 M $190.3 M
2. Frozen $28.8 M $248.3 M
3. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues $20.1 M $83.6 M
4. American Hustle $19.5 M $60 M
5. The Wolf of Wall Street $18.5 M $34.3 M
6. Saving Mr. Banks $14 M $37.8 M
7. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty $13 M $25.5 M
8. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $10.2 M $391.1 M
9. 47 Ronin $9.8 M $20.5 M
10. Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas $7.4 M $43.7 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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