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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘The Hobbit’ Leads a Weak Weekend

The Hobbit Box office
Warner Bros.

Something went horribly wrong this weekend. Despite a few high profile new releases and the mere presence of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ this weekend’s box office was, uh…not great. What happened here?

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $36,705,000 (-56.6) $8,952 $149,858,000
2 Jack Reacher $15,600,000 $4,654 $15,600,000
3 This is 40 $12,031,000 $4,132 $12,031,000
4 Rise of the Guardians $5,900,000 (-14.4) $1,947 $79,694,000
5 Lincoln $5,633,000 (-19.9)
$2,217 $116,781,000
6 The Guilt Trip $5,390,000 $1,925 $7,421,000
7 Monsters, Inc 3D $5,040,000 $1,987 $6,525,000
8 Skyfall $4,700,000 (-28.3) $2,171 $279,972,000
9 Life of Pi $3,800,000 (-29.8) $1,300 $76,156,000
10 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 $2,084,000 (-49.4) $2,542 $281,606,000


Let’s start from the top.

After a record breaking opening weekend, ‘The Hobbit’ took a pretty nasty 56% stumble in its second week, grossing $36.7 million for a $149 million total. It’s too early to do any doomsaying (especially since the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films grossed $300 million apiece through sheer endurance), but it’ll certainly be interesting to see if Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth will have the cultural and financial impact of his earlier films. It’s always possible that attendance was down this weekend since so many people were traveling for the holidays and that every family in America is planning to see it during the Christmas vacation, so all we can do is stand by and watch.

In the second spot, ‘Jack Reacher‘ was further proof that titling your movie after your main character is a bad decision. The Tom Cruise action film only grossed $15.6 million, which is surely going to result in Mr. Cruise fast tracking ‘Mission: Impossible 5.’ With luck, the slow but steady adult audiences that made ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Argo’ a hit can step in and save this one, but this is a crowded holiday season and ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘Les Miserables’ will be competing for the same audiences in a few days.

Even more disappointing than ‘Jack Reacher’ was the $12 million opening of Judd Apatow’s ‘This is 40,’ a far cry from the massive receipt of ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ and ‘Knocked Up.’ Heck, it’s $10 million less than ‘Funny People,’ which was considered a massive financial disappointment. We have no idea what Apatow plans to do next, but expect it be something radically different than his usual schtick.

And everything else? Eh, nothing too notable.

The 3D re-release of ‘Monsters, Inc’ underperformed with only $5 million, a massive disappointment compared to the solid cash grossed by the ‘Finding Nemo’ re-release earlier this year. ‘The Guilt Trip’ opened with $5.3 million, which isn’t too bad for a film that no one wanted to see or had heard about. ‘Lincoln’ continued its steady crawl toward the mid-100 million range and ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Twilight’ are still struggling to top each other and crack $300 million (business as usual, really).

Tuesday sees the Christmas Day releases of ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘Les Miserables.’ We have a good feeling about both of those.

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