The Twelve Days of Box Office: Day Two

Weekend Wrap-Up: One Hobbit to Rule the Holidays

By John Hamann

December 23, 2012

Hobbits are *stabby*.

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Fifth spot goes to Lincoln, the Steven Spielberg winner. Now in its sixth weekend of wide release, Lincoln earned $5.6 million and fell 20% from the $7 million it earned last weekend. Lincoln has been very strong over the last month and a half, and has a gross so far of $116.8 million. The holidays will help, but this one peaked last weekend.

Sixth is The Guilt Trip, and will likely be the big loser out of the holiday season. The Paramount release opened on Wednesday to sluggish business, and just didn’t pick up. Who really wants to see Seth Rogen in a movie with Barbra Streisand? Obviously no one, as The Guilt Trip earned only $5.4 million from 2,431 venues (the venue count indicates Paramount knew what was going on, as does the fact that the studio scheduled two other new releases to open on the same day). Will it be a disaster? No way. Remember that the box office was "stormed" by P.S. I Love You in 2007, and that one had earned $40 million after the New Year was a weekend old. The Guilt Trip cost the studio $40 million.

Seventh goes to Monsters, Inc., which opened quietly on Wednesday. After pulling in only $1.5 million over Wednesday and Thursday, things didn’t get much better over the weekend proper. Over the three-day portion of the weekend, the 3D Pixar re-release earned a mere $5 million at the box office, below expectations. Still, kids are now out of out of school for the next two weeks, so a film like this should do at least okay over the same time period. Additionally, the funds were spent to make this one over a decade ago, and Disney certainly didn’t commit marketing overkill for Monsters either, so they will see a profit in the end.

Eighth goes to Skyfall, which is simply running out of steam after seven weekends of release. This weekend, Skyfall earned another $4.7 million and was off a palatable 28% despite being around so long. The $200 million Sony release has now earned $280 million stateside, with another $680 million coming from overseas.


Ninth is Life of Pi, as like Skyfall, there is only so much time a film has to earn money. Life of Pi earned $3.8 million in its fifth weekend and was off 30%. Its domestic gross of $76.2 million is well short of its $120 million budget, but it has taken in another $140 million from overseas cinemas thus far.

Tenth is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, which enjoys its last days as a top ten film. For Christmas this year, I get a world without Twilight, as Django Unchained and Les Miserables will definitely move it out of the top ten list. This weekend, it earned $2.6 million and dropped 49% from last weekend. It has a cume of $281.6 million. Don’t go away mad, Twilight. Just go away.

Finally in 11th is Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away, our last opener. The 3D flick opened at only 840 venues and earned $2.1 million, giving it a venue average of $2,542. Like all the other new films out this weekend, this one was made on the cheap, costing only $18 million. It will have to improve if it has any chance of succeeding this holiday season.

Overall, this weekend's box office, when compared to last weekend, last year, and the last time Christmas fell on a Tuesday, things are not good. The top 12 films this year took in $101.5 million. Last year over the same weekend, the top 12 earned $114.4 million. In 2007, the top 12 earned $152 million. However, the films released this year are for the most part inexpensive – there are no big budget letdowns in this crop – so studios should breathe a sigh of relief, even if there is opportunity lost.

Top Ten for Weekend of
Gross ($)
1 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Warner Bros. 36,705,000 -56.6% 149,858,000
2 Jack Reacher Paramount Pictures 15,600,000 New 15,600,000
3 This Is 40 Universal 12,031,000 New 12,031,000
4 Rise of the Guardians Paramount Pictures 5,900,000 -17.4% 79,694,000
5 Lincoln Walt Disney 5,633,000 -19.9% 116,781,000
6 The Guilt Trip Paramount Pictures 5,390,000 New 7,421,000
7 Monsters, Inc. 3D Walt Disney 5,040,000 New 6,525,000
8 Skyfall Sony 4,700,000 -28.3% 279,972,000
9 Life of Pi 20th Century Fox 3,800,000 29.8% 76,156,000
10 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Summit Entertainment 2,600,000 -49.4% 281,606,000
11 Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away Paramount Pictures 2,135,000 New 2,254,000
12 Wreck-It Ralph Walt Disney 2,003,000 -37.7% 171,926,000

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