Weekend Wrap-Up

Box Office Hot as Smaug Beats Anchorman; Frozen Shines

By John Hamann

December 22, 2013

Someone needs a dentist.

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Sixth is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which manages to stay relevant this weekend despite the onslaught of competition. Catching Fire pulled in another $8.8 million this weekend, dropping 36% from last weekend’s $13.7 million take. The gross this weekend brings the total up to $371.7 million, so if it has a strong 12 Days of Christmas, it could still get to $400 million.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas falls from third last weekend all the way down to seventh this weekend, as the usual Tyler Perry pattern holds despite having Christmas in the title. In its second weekend, A Madea Christmas earned only $8.5 million, giving it a drop of 47%. So far, this one has earned $28.3 million.

Seventh is Walking With Dinosaurs, a film that looks like it would be amazing, until we heard the voices and dialogue between the dinosaurs. Others obviously felt the same, as the Fox effort earned only $7.3 million this weekend from 3,231 venues. Luckily, this isn’t performing like a Smurf movie, so hopefully the studios will learn a lesson about morphing BBC documentaries into kids movies crowded with poop jokes. If this was a silent film, it may have gotten my money, but like as it is, only the youngest of the young will attend, and likely without mom and dad.


Ninth is Dhoom 3, an Indian action movie. Dhoom 3 earned a remarkable $3.3 million this weekend from only 236 venues, giving it an average of $14,004, by far the best in the top ten. This is more than Dhoom 2 earned in its entire domestic run ($2.6 million), and should set up a strong run around the world. Dhoom 2 earned $32.4 million globally the last time around; Dhoom 3 should improve on that.

Tenth is Thor: The Dark World, which took in $1.3 million. Thor managed to cross the $200 million mark this weekend, its seventh weekend in the top ten. It now has a gross so far of $200.8 million stateside, and $425 million from overseas.

In limited release this weekend, Inside Llewyn Davis earned $1.1 million from 148 venues, an increase over last weekend of 197%. Also in somewhat limited release is Philomena, the Judi Dench release, which earned $1.2 million and declined 33%. Finally, Spike Jonze's Her also got out of the gate this weekend at six venues and found a venue average of $43,000.

Overall this weekend, the box office is hot heading into the Christmas box office bonanza. The top 12 films earned $137.3 million, well ahead of last year’s $100.5 million. Things only get more interesting on Christmas Day, when The Wolf of Wall Street, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Believe, 47 Ronin and Grudge Match all open, and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom expands. The last time we had five films open on Christmas Day was 2008, and three of those five went on to earn more than $100 million.

Top Weekend Box Office for 12/20/13-12/22/13 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug WARNER BROS. $31,455,000 - 57% $127,500,000
2 Anchorman 2 PARAMOUNT $26,776,000 New $40,000,000
3 Frozen DISNEY $19,163,000 - 15% $191,555,000
4 American Hustle SONY $19,100,000 + 2479% $20,200,000
5 Saving Mr. Banks DISNEY $9,321,000 + 2155% $9,947,000
6 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Lionsgate $8,750,000 - 36% $371,703,796
7 A Madea Christmas Lionsgate $8,510,000 - 47% $28,280,277
8 Walking With Dinosaurs Fox $7,300,000 New $7,300,000
9 Dhoom 3 Yash Raj Films $3,305,000 New $3,305,000
10 Thor: the Dark World DISNEY $1,328,000 - 53% $200,766,000
11 Philomena Weinstein Co. $1,225,000 - 33% $13,336,552
12 Inside Llewyn Davis Cbs Films $1,061,000 + 197% $2,112,150
  Also Opening/Notables
  Her WARNER BROS. $257,815 New $361,473
  The Past Sony Classics $30,942 New $30,942
  Out of the Furnace Relativity $327,000 - 87% $10,928,140
  Homefront Open Road Films $523,000 - 69% $19,780,055
  Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom Weinstein Co. $28,472 - 19% $292,234
  Delivery Man DISNEY $461,000 - 77% $29,254,000
  Nebraska PARAMOUNT $580,000 - 36% $4,386,000
  The Book Thief Twentieth Century Fox $760,000 - 56% $16,603,600
  Dallas Buyers Club Focus Features $348,804 - 70% $15,157,631
  12 Years a Slave FOX SEARCHLIGHT $365,000 - 50% $37,075,200
  Gravity WARNER BROS. $430,000 - 42% $253,566,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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