Box Office Guru Wrapup: Hobbit Tops Anchorman in Sequel Showdown

Plenty of new faces popped up in the North American top ten but the Middle Earth tentpole The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug remained at number one with an estimated $31.5M falling a reasonable 57% in its second round. After ten-plus days, the Warner Bros. release has amassed $127.5M which is off 15% from the $150.1M that last year's An Unexpected Journey grossed over the exact same period. That film dropped by a similar 56% in its second weekend. Hobbit collected a massive $96M overseas this weekend pushing the international haul to $276.3M and the global gross to a potent $403.8M with much more to come over the holiday weeks ahead.

Opening in second place was the comedy sequel Anchorman 2 with an estimated $26.8M weekend and $40M since its debut on Tuesday night. The Paramount release averaged $7,635 from 3,507 locations and had a Friday-to-Sunday take that was just below the $28.4M of its 2004 predecessor. The midweek launch diluted down the weekend numbers, however ticket prices were much lower nine years ago.

With only a $50M budget, the new installment of the Will Ferrell franchise should have no problem turning a profit from its worldwide run. The audience this weekend was much more male (62%) and 56% over 25. Reviews were generally good (considering it is a comedy sequel) but the B CinemaScore grade indicates that paying fans were only moderately satisfied. Oscar hopeful American Hustle may have put a little dent into sales with its expansion as it also played to adults looking for a laugh, and had more cross-gender appeal too. But with the holidays coming up soon when everyday from Christmas to New Years behaves like a Saturday at the turnstiles, Anchorman still has plenty of potential ahead.

Disney's animated blockbuster Frozen slipped only 15% in its fourth weekend of wide release to an estimated $19.2M bumping the cume up to a stellar $191.6M. Elsa and Anna may crack $200M on Christmas Day. The global gross has climbed up to $344.2M thanks to more overseas traction led by Europe.

The all-star package American Hustle followed its sizzling platform debut with a solid nationwide expansion coming in an inch behind at number four with an estimated $19.1M from 2,507 theaters. The Sony awards player starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner averaged a commendable $7,619 per site. Reviews from critics have been sensational, but paying audiences were a little less impressed giving it a B+ grade from CinemaScore. Adult moviegoers are expected to keep coming out over the holidays for Hustle which has earned seven Golden Globe nominations. Total with the limited run is $20.2M.

Disney's own awards hopeful Saving Mr. Banks went national after a week in limited play and saw results that were respectable but not amazing. The Tom Hanks-Emma Thompson pic grossed an estimated $9.3M from 2,110 sites for a mediocre $4,418 average. It is not the most urgently awaited film so the PG-13 pic will attempt to draw its audience over time over the holidays banking on word-of-mouth to make the buzz spread. Cume is $9.9M and the A CinemaScore bodes well for its future. Skewing much older, 61% of the crowd was 35 or older while 57% was female.

Off 36% was The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with an estimated $8.8M raising the total to $371.7M. Fellow Lionsgate title A Madea Christmas dropped 47% in its sophomore frame to an estimated $8.5M for $28.3M to date.

The animated film Walking with Dinosaurs got off to a soft start debuting to an estimated $7.3M from 3,231 theaters for a weak $2,259 average. The PG-rated adventure faced stiff competition from the still-strong Frozen but will aim to reach its target audience of families slowly over the next two weeks when children will be out of school most of the time.

Generating the biggest opening weekend ever for a Bollywood film in North America, the action sequel Dhoom 3 took ninth place with an estimated $3.3M from 236 locations for a $14,004 average for Yash Raj Films. Rounding out the top ten was Thor: The Dark World with an estimated $1.3M, down 53%, for a $200.8M cume thus far. Worldwide tally is now $627.1M for Disney and its Marvel unit.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $135M which was up 39% from last year when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey stayed at number one with $36.9M; and up 12% from 2011 when Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol debuted wide in the top spot with $29.6M.

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Comments

Will Folk

Will Folk

I'm really happy for The Hobbit. I hope it can keep rolling, but highly doubtful with Wolf and other big releases coming. I wish Saving Mr. Banks would have done better. Hopefully word of mouth will help it out. Emma Thompson should win something for her performance, but I'll hold off my judgement until I see the other awards contenders.

Dec 22 - 05:38 PM

Josiah Coulter

Josiah Coulter

You never know though. The first Hobbit pulled out a third weekend on top after battling both Les Miserables and Django Unchained.

Dec 22 - 08:03 PM

Dante D.

Dante Dachshund

The audience for Saving Mr. Banks skews older - people that don't rush out on opening weekend. I think it will definitely have legs and be fine in the long run, especially with awards season coming up.

Dec 23 - 07:27 AM

C Andres Salazar

C Andres Salazar

Saving mr banks will likely continue to improve, the box office over the holidays tends to be a very spread out market. Expect word of mouth to carry the movie onward.

Dec 24 - 02:53 AM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Hobbit for the win! I'm guessing that it'll stay on top next week as well. None of the Christmas releases seem mainstream enough to get a giant opening weekend.

Dec 22 - 05:39 PM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

If only the Hobbit were as good. Overly frenetic action scenes padded with mostly needless reminders that Sauron is returning (we know already), and a nonsense love story that didn't even exist. I loved all the previous films, but this one couldn't carry itself for three hours. And whats with the crappy Celtic songs during the credits of these films, it's totally disjointing walking out of the theater listening to that. I think Jackson's lost control of this mess and I have little hope he can get it back.

Dec 22 - 06:00 PM

Jess Castro

Jess Castro

....? You are in a definite minority. The Desolation of Smaug was leaps and bounds better than the original Hobbit. So he fleshed out the world and added a new character and a love interest, it worked out really well imho. The pacing, the action, the story just felt solid from start to finish. I wanted actually felt it easily could have added another 30mins of the dragon alone and I would have been cool with that.

Dec 22 - 06:54 PM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

The pacing was horrible. Every time the movie gained any momentum he would switch scenes to the awful fabricated subplots and destroy the pacing entirely. Apparently you're one those morons studios add love interests for, because this one was false and unbelievable as the come, and added nothing to the story but only detracted from it.

Dec 22 - 07:21 PM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

P.s. I'm glad to be in the minority then, because the majority here wouldn't know their asshole from a mud puddle.

Dec 22 - 07:23 PM

Sam Steel

Sam Steel

^Because unlike some, most of us don't spend all our time looking at up own assholes...

Dec 22 - 09:05 PM

D'Artagnan

Andy Maclean

I agree with your points but not your tone. Do we need to stoop to name calling with every post?

Dec 27 - 10:52 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Minority how? I'd say a 15% drop would show that fans of the Lord of the Rings have noticed the drop in quality. Lets also not mention the fans that saw it and hated it. Which ravings of hatred towards this film can be found all over the internet. I'm okay with the throw away cheesy as hell Love Triangle but the bloated Thorin Oakenshield Mythology is Torture!

Dec 22 - 08:00 PM

Ellis F.

Ellis Fowler

The ending chase scene was pretty long and boring, but aside from that it was fine.

Dec 22 - 08:29 PM

This comment has been removed.

Caleb P.

Caleb Paasche

I agree, didn't see it in the high frame rate, but the movie could have cut out half an hour and been fine.

Dec 23 - 09:03 AM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

Had he cut out all the padding, made both movies around 2 hour runtime they would probably have been fantastic. This story isn't the Hobbit anymore.

Dec 23 - 12:58 PM

Chace Boswell

Chace Boswell

God what a whinny bunch of bitches you are. Most people that tend to find a movie overlong just have a pretty shitty attention span. Haters just hate so they think they are special for disliking what others like..pathetic

Dec 23 - 10:04 PM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

Nothing wrong with a long movie, I loved all 3 LOTR films and even have the extended editions. But in this case, there simply wasn't enough material there and the invented additions added zero value to the story.

Dec 24 - 09:37 PM

Jess Castro

Jess Castro

....? You are in a definite minority. The Desolation of Smaug was leaps and bounds better than the original Hobbit. So he fleshed out the world and added a new character and a love interest, it worked out really well imho. The pacing, the action, the story just felt solid from start to finish. I wanted actually felt it easily could have added another 30mins of the dragon alone and I would have been cool with that.

Dec 22 - 06:54 PM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

The pacing was horrible. Every time the movie gained any momentum he would switch scenes to the awful fabricated subplots and destroy the pacing entirely. Apparently you're one those morons studios add love interests for, because this one was false and unbelievable as the come, and added nothing to the story but only detracted from it.

Dec 22 - 07:21 PM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

P.s. I'm glad to be in the minority then, because the majority here wouldn't know their asshole from a mud puddle.

Dec 22 - 07:23 PM

Sam Steel

Sam Steel

^Because unlike some, most of us don't spend all our time looking at up own assholes...

Dec 22 - 09:05 PM

D'Artagnan

Andy Maclean

I agree with your points but not your tone. Do we need to stoop to name calling with every post?

Dec 27 - 10:52 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Minority how? I'd say a 15% drop would show that fans of the Lord of the Rings have noticed the drop in quality. Lets also not mention the fans that saw it and hated it. Which ravings of hatred towards this film can be found all over the internet. I'm okay with the throw away cheesy as hell Love Triangle but the bloated Thorin Oakenshield Mythology is Torture!

Dec 22 - 08:00 PM

Ellis F.

Ellis Fowler

The ending chase scene was pretty long and boring, but aside from that it was fine.

Dec 22 - 08:29 PM

This comment has been removed.

Caleb P.

Caleb Paasche

I agree, didn't see it in the high frame rate, but the movie could have cut out half an hour and been fine.

Dec 23 - 09:03 AM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

Had he cut out all the padding, made both movies around 2 hour runtime they would probably have been fantastic. This story isn't the Hobbit anymore.

Dec 23 - 12:58 PM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

The pacing was horrible. Every time the movie gained any momentum he would switch scenes to the awful fabricated subplots and destroy the pacing entirely. Apparently you're one those morons studios add love interests for, because this one was false and unbelievable as the come, and added nothing to the story but only detracted from it.

Dec 22 - 07:21 PM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

P.s. I'm glad to be in the minority then, because the majority here wouldn't know their asshole from a mud puddle.

Dec 22 - 07:23 PM

Sam Steel

Sam Steel

^Because unlike some, most of us don't spend all our time looking at up own assholes...

Dec 22 - 09:05 PM

D'Artagnan

Andy Maclean

I agree with your points but not your tone. Do we need to stoop to name calling with every post?

Dec 27 - 10:52 AM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

P.s. I'm glad to be in the minority then, because the majority here wouldn't know their asshole from a mud puddle.

Dec 22 - 07:23 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Minority how? I'd say a 15% drop would show that fans of the Lord of the Rings have noticed the drop in quality. Lets also not mention the fans that saw it and hated it. Which ravings of hatred towards this film can be found all over the internet. I'm okay with the throw away cheesy as hell Love Triangle but the bloated Thorin Oakenshield Mythology is Torture!

Dec 22 - 08:00 PM

Josiah Coulter

Josiah Coulter

You never know though. The first Hobbit pulled out a third weekend on top after battling both Les Miserables and Django Unchained.

Dec 22 - 08:03 PM

Ellis F.

Ellis Fowler

The Hobbit was really good, but I accidentally saw it in high frame rate, (it was just labeled 3D,)and it really took away from the experience. Still good, though.

Dec 22 - 08:27 PM

Ellis F.

Ellis Fowler

The ending chase scene was pretty long and boring, but aside from that it was fine.

Dec 22 - 08:29 PM

Esteban Martinez

Esteban Martinez

How I wish Saving Mr Banks had done better, it's a very good film. :(

Dec 22 - 08:53 PM

Francesco Fortuna

Francesco Fortuna

I know same! I actually cried, it was such a beautiful film. It's so strange though, the theater was packed for me which usually tells me it's going to have at least a decent opening, but I wasn't expecting numbers that low. )=

Dec 22 - 10:36 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Ouch at the B audience score for Anchorman 2. I liked the first one, but the trailers for this have looked dull, and it's not promising if it can't even please the fanbase.

Dec 22 - 09:01 PM

Sam Steel

Sam Steel

^Because unlike some, most of us don't spend all our time looking at up own assholes...

Dec 22 - 09:05 PM

Francesco Fortuna

Francesco Fortuna

I know same! I actually cried, it was such a beautiful film. It's so strange though, the theater was packed for me which usually tells me it's going to have at least a decent opening, but I wasn't expecting numbers that low. )=

Dec 22 - 10:36 PM

Nikhil Sachdeva

Nikhil Sachdeva

good to see an Indian film in the top 10 of North American box office!

Dec 22 - 10:56 PM

Dante D.

Dante Dachshund

The audience for Saving Mr. Banks skews older - people that don't rush out on opening weekend. I think it will definitely have legs and be fine in the long run, especially with awards season coming up.

Dec 23 - 07:27 AM

This comment has been removed.

Caleb P.

Caleb Paasche

I agree, didn't see it in the high frame rate, but the movie could have cut out half an hour and been fine.

Dec 23 - 09:03 AM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

Had he cut out all the padding, made both movies around 2 hour runtime they would probably have been fantastic. This story isn't the Hobbit anymore.

Dec 23 - 12:58 PM

Matt Chandler

Matt Chandler

Great writing

Dec 23 - 08:23 AM

Jerry Danzig

Jerry Danzig

A B+ audience score for American Hustle was way too kind. What a snoozathon! I walked out at about the one-hour mark, and I almost never walk out of movies I've forked over hard-earned cash to see. The audience I saw it with seemed pretty stupefied as well, laughing only once during the first hour. Methinks David O. Russell wears no clothes, despite what the critics might think...

Dec 23 - 08:56 AM

Mark Vandrell

Mark Vandrell

I suspected this movie was overly praised by critics, Russell is loved by the critics but is entirely mediocre from everything I've seen.

Dec 24 - 09:39 PM

MontyCircus

First Last

Agreed! I thought about walking out as well, but stuck through to the end...ugh. "Riotously funny"? Where the heck did they get that from?

Dec 25 - 11:21 AM

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