Photo: Warner Bros. / MGM
“The Hobbit” didn’t break $100 million this weekend; however, it did manage to break the December box-office record. Not that it was difficult to beat. The previous record was held by Will Smith’s “I Am Legend” from 2007 which earned $77.2 million on its debut.
Compared to the previous “Lord of the Rings” films, Peter Jackson’s prequel earned more than each opening weekend. However, considering the gap in years since the debut of the original trilogy, ticket sales and 3D and IMAX sales should have seen “The Hobbit” knock “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” $72.6 million opening in 2003 out of the park.
There were few surprises this weekend at the box office. The only real shocker came from “Skyfall” which took a slight tumble in the top 10 after taking over the top 10 once again last week.
Knocked out of the top 10 are Brad Pitt’s “Killing The Softly” and Denzel Washington’s “Flight,” making room for one well-deserved entry.
Here are this week’s winners and losers at the box office:
10. “Silver Linings Playbook” finally makes it into the top 10 after five weeks with slightly more than $2 million. The Weinstein Company’s film has steadily earned at least $2 million every week since it’s debut.
9. “Red Dawn” drops one notch this week earning $2.4 million. The long-coming remake has earned $40.9 million to date, still nearly $25 million under its estimated budget.
8. Gerard Butler’s “Playing for Keeps” continues to sink in week two earning $3.2 million. The actor’s latest romantic comedy has earned $10.8 million of its estimated $35 million budget.
7. Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph” takes in another $3.3 million, bringing it’s seven-week total to $226 million worldwide.
6. “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2” falls three places this week with $5.1 million. The final instalment of the franchise has earned more than $778 million worldwide in five weeks.
5. Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” stays at the same spot as last week earning $5.4 million. The film adaptation of the novel has earned most of its $198 million in ticket sales overseas. “Pi” has only managed to earn nearly $70 million of its $120 million estimated budget at home.
4. The big surprise this week is how far “Skyfall” fell at theatres after reclaiming the box-office top spot last week from “Twilight.” Instead, the 23rd Bond film fell three spots earning $7 million in week six. Craig’s third time as 007 is now less than $50 million from hitting the billion dollar mark.
3. With nearly 300 theatres added in week six, “Lincoln” moves up one spot this week earning $7.2 million. Steven Spielberg’s film starring Daniel Day Lewis has now earned $107.9 million since its release.
2. DreamWorks animated film “Rise of the Guardians” may not have opened strong the week after Thanksgiving; however, it’s fighting to stay at the top of the box office with another $7.4 million. With $71.3 million domestically, the film is still far from its estimated $145 million budget. However, the animated picture has picked up abroad to bring its worldwide total to $190 million.
1. Despite breaking the December record, which was no hard feat, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” failed to cross the $100 million mark opening weekend, something a film opening in so many different formats (IMAX, IMAX 3D, high-frame-rate 3D, high-frame rate IMAX 3D, etc.) should have been able to easily accomplish with enough high-priced tickets sold. Instead, the first in the trilogy earned $84.8 million at home. Overseas, the film fared much better to bring its worldwide total to nearly $223 million.
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