Friday Box Office Analysis
by Tim Briody
December 14, 2013

Wait, you're telling me we're down from last year?

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The second of the three Hobbit movies (and fifth [bp:598_]Peter Jackson[/bp] film adapted from Tolkien’s books) comes in with an opening day of $31.1 million. This is a solid number on paper, but is down 15.7% from last year’s An Unexpected Journey, which started with $37.1 million. That’s not terribly surprising, as the further we get into the series the more devoted one needs to be to the books to be interested. $8.8 million of Smaug’s earnings were from midnight showings, also a drop from the $13 million An Unexpected Journey made, also indicating less enthusiasm this time around. Don’t cry any tears for Mr. Jackson; the first film took in $1 billion worldwide and this is likely to do the same even if the domestic grosses dip a bit. I would also expect a slight bump back up to the first Hobbit film’s earnings for the finale next year. I think The Desolation of Smaug will still be the biggest film of December given the head start, but it’s not looking likely to hit the $300 million mark, and it would be the first of the five Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films not to do so. I’m looking for a total weekend of $71.8 million.

A Madea Christmas

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (starring Tyler Perry) comes in with $5.7 million on Friday. We’re down a bit from the heyday of Madea’s Family Reunion ($30 million opening weekend) and Madea Goes To Jail ($41 million opening weekend). Even the last Madea-centric film, last year’s Madea’s Witness Protection, started with $10.1 million on Friday and a $25.4 million weekend. Maybe it might show a bit more legs than a typical Perry film given the holiday theme, but I wouldn’t count on it. A weekend of $15.9 million seems likely.


Disney’s Frozen continues its remarkable run, dropping just 23% from last Friday to $5.2 million. (For comparison, Catching Fire fell 48%.) Based on its Saturday number last weekend, it will likely pass Madea for second place on the weekend and is now very likely to reach the $200 million mark over Christmas. Look for another $23.4 million for the weekend.