Weekend Box Office Report: December 26-28, 2014

The Hobbit wins the battle again!

With the Christmas shopping and festivities finished, moviegoers returned to Middle Earth this weekend to put THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES at the top of the box office with an estimated $41.4 million!

Filmmaker Peter Jackson's second Tolkien trilogy-topper was down just 24% from its opening last weekend, and has crossed $500 million worldwide (just over halfway to the global finishes of the first two HOBBIT movies).

Christmas Day saw a few major new releases, which helped make it the best Christmas for box office business in five years. UNBROKEN, the fact-based tale of survival and triumph directed by Angelina Jolie, made the biggest impression with audiences to give it a second place opening with $31.7 million (and $47.3 million total since Thursday).

UNBROKEN's $15.5 million Christmas Day opening marked the third-highest opening on the holiday behind SHERLOCK HOLMES and LES MISERABLES. Critics weren't feeling especially generous to the inspirational story, giving it a 51% average on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences applauded with an 'A-' CinemaScore.

Close behind in third place was the lavish new fairy tale musical INTO THE WOODS with $31 million, and $46.1 million total since its Thursday opening. Critics were entertained but not overwhelmed by director Rob Marshall's $60 million adaptation of the popular Sondheim stage show, judging by the 70% average on Rotten Tomatoes (crowds gave it a 'B+' CinemaScore).

Dropping to fourth was last weekend's runner-up NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB with $20.6 million, an improvement of 20% over its first weekend as it passed $100 million worldwide. In fifth place was the update of the musical ANNIE with $16.6 million, also up around 5% higher than its opening last week. After that in sixth was THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 as it crossed $300 million domestic with the second-biggest total of 2014, behind GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY's $332.7 million.

Opening in seventh place was Mark Wahlberg's remake of James Caan's THE GAMBLER with $9.3 million ($14.3 million total since its Christmas debut). The R-rated crime drama from director Rupert Wyatt (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) and Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan (THE DEPARTED) didn't hit the jackpot with critics (47% on Rotten Tomatoes) or paying customers ('C+' CinemaScore).

The award-buzzed Alan Turing biopic THE IMITATION GAME expanded to nearly 750 locations and lurched onto the chart with $7.9 million. Between this and the vocal performance he provided to THE HOBBIT, Benedict Cumberbatch had the two highest per-screen averages in the Top 10.

Ridley Scott's biblical epic EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS dropped to ninth place, followed by Reese Witherspoon's drama WILD at the bottom of the list. Outside the chart, BIG HERO 6, PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR, P.K. and TOP FIVE were put away for the post-holiday weekend.

As for other releases, Tim Burton's BIG EYES opened on 1307 screens for $2.9 million (that's less than INTERSTELLAR in its eighth weekend, on 50 fewer screens), while the controversial Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy THE INTERVIEW managed to scramble into 331 theaters for $1.8 million (for a $2.8 million total since Christmas Day).

In limited release, the Civil Rights drama SELMA marched to a solid $31k per-screen opening, while Clint Eastwood's AMERICAN SNIPER hit the bullseye with an armor-piercing $152k per-screen average (only Wes Anderson's THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL had a higher per-screen premiere this year).

Except for the low-budget horror sequel THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2: ANGEL OF DEATH and the limited release of A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, next week lets the current roster duke it out into the new year. See you in 2015!

What was your favorite movie of 2014? VOTE HERE!

1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies $41.4 M $168.5 M
2. Unbroken $31.7 M $47.3 M
3. Into the Woods $31 M $46.1 M
4. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb $20.6 M $55.3 M
5. Annie $16.6 M $45.8 M
6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 $10 M $306.6 M
7. The Gambler $9.3 M $14.3 M
8. The Imitation Game $7.9 M $14.6 M
9. Exodus: Gods and Kings $6.7 M $52.5 M
10. Wild $5.4 M $16.3 M


Source: Box Office Mojo



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