The Twelve Days of Box Office Day Five

By David Mumpower

December 26, 2013

His movie made a lot more than that.

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Christmas ordinarily contains an entire day’s worth of yuletide glee for Hollywood studios. Alas, Santa was less kind than usual this year. The 2013 occurrence of Christmas featured a lot of coal and not enough toys. We will be evaluating the aftermath of December 25th for another 10 days. What can be stated with certainty right now is that A) Bieber Fever is dead B) There were at least 42 Ronin too many and C) Everybody held a grudge against Grudge Match.

Let’s start at the top. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is going to wind up as the least popular of the five Peter Jackson adaptations of Tolkien. Despite its flaws, The Hobbit is still the class of Christmas, winning for the fifth consecutive day this week with $9.3 million. In the process, The Hobbit increased 77% or $4 million from Christmas Eve. It also effectively reached $150 million after 13 days in theaters. That is the good news. The bad news is that last year’s iteration of The Hobbit had earned $30 million more during the same timeframe. Even the strongest Tolkien supporters would be hard pressed to argue this as a positive. And this is as good a time as any to mention that The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King garnered $232.8 million in 13 days…a decade ago. The brand is shrinking, folks.

The Wolf of Wall Street almost overtook The Hobbit yesterday, grossing $9.2 million. The latest title from the team of Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese comes with a hefty price tag of $100 million yet its prospects seem largely positive at the moment. The heavily marketed film with a superlative cast earned more than the oftentimes associated American Hustle has grossed in any day thus far during its release.




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There are a couple of points worthy of caution, though. Christmas Day releases frequently max out on their first day, never again matching that performance during the rest of their domestic run. Even more alarming is the news that The Wolf of Wall Street received a Cinemascore of C. Just to be clear, that system grades on a curve so anything lower than a B+ is not well received. A C grade is heinous. 76% of Rotten Tomatoes critics give the movie thumbs up, so there is a real disconnect between them and opening night viewers.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues has provided an entertaining roller coaster ride this week. It lost over half its box office from Monday to Tuesday. Yesterday, Christmas inflation helped the Will Ferrell comedy to gross almost as much as the previous two days in combination. Its $8.1 million represents a solid 190% increase from Tuesday’s weak showing. Anchorman 2 has a running totally of $56.7 million after eight days in release. While many decry this amount as disappointing, the sequel’s ancillary revenue streams are tremendous. Plus, its budget is impressively modest at $50 million. No matter how much we have all grown to loathe the omnipresent Ron Burgundy in recent days, the movie is a solid performer.


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