Audiences maintained their affair with The Hobbit in the first weekend of 2015 even as they began a dalliance with The Woman In Black 2,which landed in fourth for the weekend. Disney’s Into The Woods and Universal’s Unbroken, meanwhile, traded places in the Top 3 from last weekend. Woods grossed an estimated $19.1M Friday to Sunday vs. Unbroken‘s $18.358M estimated weekend take.
Overall, the box office has grossed an estimated $208.233M New Year’s Day throughSunday, a 5.5% increase from 2014’s first four-day total of $197.444M, according to Rentrak Theatrical. The Top 10 features totaled $127.256M Friday to Sunday, down 28.7% from last weekend’s $178.521M, but up 7% from last year’s Top 10 of $118.936M, which included Frozen and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The weekend’s total box office cume came in at $153M, an 8.4% increase from the same period last year, according to Rentrak’s Paul Dergarabedian.
Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies is estimated to have grossed $21.9M Friday to Sunday in 3,875 theaters, a 46% decline from the previous weekend’s 3-day $41.4M gross. That is lower than the third frame of Smaug, which came in at just over $29M and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘s $31.9M. Still,Five Armies first January frame outperformed Smaug‘s $15.675M gross during the same period last year as well as An Unexpected Journey‘s $17.5M two years prior. Both Smaug and An Unexpected Journey opened earlier in December than Five Armies, which moved its release forward to capitalize on when the Christmas holiday fell on the calendar.
The Five Armies’ has now been atop the box office for three weeks, aligning the title with the previous five Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit titles which all landed number one in the box office for three weeks or more.
Relativity’s The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death grossed an estimated $15.14MFSS, beating the distributor’s initial estimates of $9-$11M, and ended up in fourth overall. Not bad for a $1M acquisition. It came on strong Friday with a $7.75M gross (including $1.5M from Thursday evening sneak screenings) and rounded outSaturday with a $4.93M daily gross (-36%).
“This first weekend in January has proven to be a solid core weekend for [thrillers],” said Kyle Davies, Relativity’s President Worldwide Distribution. “In terms of geography, it played broadly in large cities and small towns with strong Hispanic and African American representation. It skewed younger and female.”
Exit polls showed The Woman In Black 2‘s crowd was 53% female and 65% 25 and under. Caucasians made up 38% of the weekend’s crowd, with 25% being African American and 24% Hispanic.
Happy days are here again at the box office. Warner Bros. and industry analysts are both seeing The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies with a Wednesday through Sunday domestic cume $90.6M and a FSS of $56.2M. 3D accounted for 49% of the gross with IMAX repping 15% or $13.6M over five days, and $7.7M over three.
For the As previously reported, Five Armies received an A- overall Cinemascore, but it received an A with the under-25 demo (40% of the audience), and A- with over 25 and guys (both 60%). Hobbits and Orcs were a B+ for women who accounted for 40%. Despite the Friday night family pic showdown between
The Night at the Museum: The Secret of the Tomb and Annie, their gap widened over the weekend with Fox’s Ben Stiller film taking second with $17.3M per studio weekend estimates and Sony’s Broadway orphan pic belting third with a studio reported $16.3M.
Even though industry estimates see both titles a bit lower at $17.1M and $15.9M respectively, these are decent starts for family films: their fates at the box office lie in the long haul, and history proves the six times multiple that can be gained for PG fare at this time of year, i.e. Warner Bros.’ Yogi Bear bowed during this frame in 2010 to $16.4M and finaled its domestic cume at $100.2M. Figures rolling in,MORE analysis to come.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” took an expected turn at the box office, setting a new record as the biggest December opening of all time.
The movie, from Time Warner Inc. Warner Bros. Pictures, earned $84.8 million in North America in its first weekend in theaters, allowing it to eclipse the previous December record-holder, “I Am Legend,” which earned $77.2 million when it opened in 2007.
The opening-weekend haul for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which cost more than $200 million to produce, also surpassed that of any film in director Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The biggest domestic opening weekend for that series stands with the final installment, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” which earned $72.6 million when it opened in 2003.
Warner Bros. President of Domestic Distribution Dan Fellman said the studio sensed both risk and opportunity in releasing the first film in “The Hobbit” trilogy a week earlier in the calendar than it had released any of “The Lord of the Rings” films.
“It puts a little pressure on the movie because you’re leading with your chin, being out there quite a bit before the holidays, but we had seen the film and had confidence in Peter and felt we could put it out there,” Mr. Fellman said.
“This weekend we were stymied [because] schools are in session…so to come in with this kind of a record-breaking number is really exciting for us. Knowing that the holiday is in front of us, we’re going to be in for a long and successful run,” he said.
Mr. Fellman added that the massive opening proves that in addition to attracting “The Lord of the Rings” fan based, the movie has enticed “a new generation of Middle Earth people.”