Friday Box Office Analysis

by Tim Briody

December 14, 2013

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

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The second of the three Hobbit movies (and fifth Peter Jackson 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.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 71.8
2 Frozen 23.4
3 A Madea Christmas 15.9
4 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 13.4
5 Thor: The Dark World 2.9
6 Out of the Furnace 2.2
7 Delivery Man 1.9
8 Philomena 1.9
9 The Book Thief 1.9
10 Homefront 1.6



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