The Twelve Days of Box Office: Day Nine

Weekend Wrap-Up

By John Hamann

December 30, 2012

I thought Padma and Tom would judge my food.

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The weekend-to-weekend percentage drop for The Hobbit was kept at the rate needed (much less than 30%), so Warner Bros. can certainly be more positive this weekend than they were last weekend when the drop from opening weekend was 56%. The domestic gross has reached $222.7 million and the overseas mark has already reached $400 million. Where will The Hobbit finish domestically? As we are smack in the middle of the 12 Days of Box Office, it is tough to provide a good finishing figure, but Fellowship of the Ring earned about $100 million after New Year’s weekend. I imagine The Hobbit will have about $80 million left in the tank, so there should be no reason why it won’t earn $300 million domestically, if not $350 million. Next weekend will be key.

Second place goes to Django Unchained, a pleasant surprise. This is a film that I believed would do well, but not close to this well. Despite getting caught in the shadows of Les Mis earlier in the week, the Quentin Tarantino flick performed strongly since then, recording a $15 million Christmas Day and $30.7 million over its first traditional weekend. Since opening Tuesday, Django has earned a remarkable $64 million. While Inglourious Basterds has the bigger opening on paper at $38.1 million, over its first six days it earned $47 million, well back of Django. Tarantino isn’t making the Weinsteins rich yet, as Django wasn’t cheap to make, costing $83 million to bring to the screen. However, it has an A minus Cinemascore, great reviews at RottenTomatoes (88% fresh), and another week of potentially solid earnings. Django should have no problem out-earning the $120.5 million that Basterds brought in, but the Brad Pitt WWII fairy tale also earned $200 million overseas, a figure Django may struggle to reach.

Finishing third is Les Miserables. The theatrical Christmas opener continued to light it up this weekend, as the star studded musical took in $28 million from 2,808 venues. Since opening on Tuesday, though, Les Mis has pulled in a simply amazing, best case scenario amount of $67.5 million. This is far and away better than I had expected. When I saw the Christmas Day gross of $18 million, I almost fell out of my chair.


Interestingly, the gross for the weekend proper was similar to that of other popular musicals like Mamma Mia! ($27.8 million) and Hairspray ($27.5 million). However, had Les Miserables opened on a traditional Friday, it would have obliterated those amounts. The Christmas Day gross was the biggest opening day for a musical ever, and was the second best Christmas opener ever.

The trick now for Les Mis is to hold. It has the coveted A Cinemascore; however, I would imagine that A came from eight A+’s and two F’s, as some audience members are expecting dialogue, not constant singing. The Hugh Jackman/Anne Hathaway spectacular cost only $61 million to make, and will be very interesting to watch during its remaining days of the 12 Day of Box Office. This one is also going to be huge internationally, so there is simply zero downside at this point – it will be all profit by the end of next weekend.

Fourth goes to Parental Guidance, as crap doesn’t take a break for Christmas (see: Alvin and the Chipmunks). Parental Guidance earned $14.8 million this weekend (more than it should have made in its entire run) and, sadly, $29.6 million since opening Christmas Day. This flick is from the Hollywood Factory, designed without viewers in mind, only money. It’s easy: Find two aging stars, put them in a movie with kids, and open it at Christmas with ads that show the ending and voila – money! This piece of dung cost Fox and Walden Media (grrr) only a rumored $25 million to make, so anything earned beyond next Thursday is going to be pure profit. Hopefully the producers of this movie are visited by three ghosts next Christmas Eve.

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