Weekend Box Office: January 4-6, 2013

The Hobbit gets Chainsawed!

After three weeks on top, THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY was chased out of first place by TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D, which sliced its way to #1 with a $23 million opening.

Typically on the first January weekend, studios let the holiday releases continue to fight it out, half-heartedly offering only a new horror release with low expectations. Sometimes they get a surprise success (like last year's THE DEVIL INSIDE), and sometimes not (like SEASON OF THE WITCH and DAYBREAKERS in the two years prior).

For the latest flesh-carving Texas terror sequel (which ignores all the other CHAINSAW sequels), audiences paid little attention to the negative reviews (22% on Rotten Tomatoes) and headed straight to the R-rated Leatherface showcase. Although its 'C+' CinemaScore probably means that saw will run out of gas pretty quickly...

DJANGO UNCHAINED held onto its second place spot with another $20 million, as Peter Jackson's halfling epic actually got frightened from first down into third. Quentin Tarantino's blood-spattered "Southern" has already passed the $100 million mark after just 13 days in theaters, and it's definitely on track to being the filmmaker's biggest domestic total as it edges toward PULP FICTION ($107.9M) and INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS ($120.5M).

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY gathered another $17.5 million and sits on a hardy $777.2 million worldwide total so far, but it still has to travel a long way to beat any entry in the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy (FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING is nearest with $313.3M domestic/$869.3M worldwide).

The period musical LES MISERABLES is singing a happy tune when it comes to box office, gaining another $16.1 million and also crossing the $100 million mark since its Christmas Day release. We'll see if it can eventually hit the high notes of other recent musical movies like HAIRSPRAY ($118.8M), ENCHANTED ($127.8M) or MAMMA MIA! ($144.3M).

Other holiday-time releases PARENTAL GUIDANCE, JACK REACHER and THIS IS 40 all battled within a million or so of each other, and although LINCOLN has seen its theater count slowly diminish (the movie was released nine weeks ago), it still holds a spot firmly in the Top 10 thanks to word-of-mouth and awards buzz.

The expansion of Matt Damon's fracking drama PROMISED LAND didn't raise many eyebrows (its per-screen average was lower than every movie on the list besides THE GUILT TRIP). Outside the chart, MONSTERS, INC. (3D) dropped from view, while -- a week before its national release -- ZERO DARK THIRTY made an additional $2.7 million on 55 new screens (compared to the tsunami drama THE IMPOSSIBLE, which made the same amount despite expanding onto 550 new screens).

Next week offers some top-notch actors shooting at each other in GANGSTER SQUAD, plus the horror movie parody A HAUNTED HOUSE and the wide expansion of ZERO DARK THIRTY.

Will you be checking out GANGSTER SQUAD next weekend? VOTE HERE!

1. Texas Chainsaw 3D $23 M
2. Django Unchained $20 M $106.3 M
3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $17.5 M $263.8 M
4. Les Miserables $16.1 M $103.6 M
5. Parental Guidance $10.1 M $52.7 M
6. Jack Reacher $9.3 M $64.8 M
7. This Is 40 $8.5 M $54.4 M
8. Lincoln $5.2 M $143.9 M
9. The Guilt Trip $4.5 M $31.2 M
10. Promised Land $4.3 M $4.6 M


Source: Box Office Mojo



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