Weekend Wrap-Up

Smaug Box Office Hot, But Dwarfed By Original Hobbit

By John Hamann

December 15, 2013

More fun than a barrel of dwarves.

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That puts The Hunger Games: Catching Fire down to fourth this weekend, as it tries to stay in the hunt for $400 million. This weekend, Catching Fire earned $13.2 million, off 50% from last weekend’s $26.2 million weekend take. Normally, with $357 million in the kitty thus far, I would outright say that Catching Fire won’t make it to $400 million, but it is the Christmas season, which means that normal trends get thrown out the window due to the lucrative Christmas box office lottery. At the end of next weekend, Catching Fire will likely be in the top seven, as Anchorman and Walking With Dinosaurs open, and should earn in the $8-$10 million range. It will then earn $25-30 million following that weekend, which will put it in striking distance of $400 million. Regardless, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is huge, as it has a worldwide take of about $730 million versus a production budget of $130 million.

It’s going to take Thor: The Dark World at least another weekend to get to $200 million, as Thor got desolated by Smaug this weekend. The Dark World earned another $2.7 million this weekend, but fell 44% in the process. The Marvel superhero film has now earned $198.1 million domestically, and over $420 million overseas, against a $170 million budget.

Out of the Furnace is sixth, and is being abandoned by North American audiences. In its second weekend, Out of the Furnace earned $2.3 million, and fell a hurtful 56%. Furnace is behaving a lot like The Counselor, which also had a great cast, but imploded at the box office. So far, the Relativity product has earned only $9.5 million.

Delivery Man falls to seventh, but does stay in the top ten for a fourth consecutive weekend. The Vince Vaughn comedy earned $1.9 million and fell 50%. It has managed to earn more domestically than its $26 million budget, as it has a cumulative total so far of $28 million – not bad considering this one started with $7.9 million.

Eighth goes to Philomena, which holds quite nicely this weekend. The Judi Dench/Steve Coogan film may have only earned $1.7 million this weekend, but it declined only 20% compared to last weekend. Its three Golden Globe nominations may have helped, and it now has a gross so far of $11 million for The Weinstein Company.


Ninth goes to The Book Thief, as this one holds on due to a lack of competition. The Fox release earned another $1.67 million this weekend and brings its total up to $14.9 million.

In tenth this weekend is Homefront, the Jason Statham action film that never really took off. It was down 52% to $1.6 million, and has a running total of just $18.4 million. Still, the film had a pretty small budget at around $22 million, so the studio will come away from this one just fine once home video revenue is added in.

In other box office news this weekend, American Hustle opened on six screens this weekend, and earned a powerful $690,000, which equals a venue average of $115,000. The other big limited release this weekend is Saving Mr. Banks, with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson. The Disney release earned $421,000 from 15 theaters this weekend.

Overall this weekend, the box office was stronger than where it was last year, despite a weaker Hobbit entry with Desolation of Smaug. A year ago, An Unexpected Journey led the top 12 to $129.9 million, whereas this year the backup to Smaug is stronger, and the top 12 pulled in $139.3 million. Next weekend, things get interesting, as Anchorman 2 opens along with Walking With Dinosaurs, while American Hustle and Saving Mr. Banks expand.

Top Weekend Box Office for 12/13/13-12/15/13 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug WARNER BROS. $73,675,000 New $73,675,000
2 Frozen DISNEY $22,184,000 - 30% $164,388,000
3 A Madea Christmas Lionsgate $16,160,000 New $16,160,000
4 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Lionsgate $13,150,000 - 50% $357,000,000
5 Thor: the Dark World DISNEY $2,700,000 - 44% $198,125,000
6 Out of the Furnace Relativity $2,320,000 - 56% $9,468,462
7 Delivery Man DISNEY $1,872,000 - 50% $27,995,000
8 Philomena Weinstein Co. $1,756,000 - 20% $11,018,978
9 The Book Thief Twentieth Century Fox $1,675,000 - 36% $14,876,800
10 Homefront Open Road Films $1,637,000 - 52% $18,437,869
11 Dallas Buyers Club Focus Features $1,129,592 - 25% $14,159,276
12 The Best Man Holiday UNIVERSAL $1,004,980 - 61% $68,968,985
  Also Opening/Notables
  American Hustle SONY $690,000 New $690,000
  Saving Mr. Banks DISNEY $421,000 New $421,000
  Hours Film Arc $50,000 New $50,000
  Inside Llewyn Davis Cbs Films $344,000 - 15% $897,504
  Old Boy Tartan Films $34,000 - 89% $2,163,013
  Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom Weinstein Co. $31,809 - 58% $237,804
  Nebraska PARAMOUNT $850,000 - 63% $3,316,000
  12 Years a Slave FOX SEARCHLIGHT $685,000 - 40% $36,316,700
  Gravity WARNER BROS. $733,000 - 39% $252,767,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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