The Twelve Days of Box Office Day Six

By David Mumpower

December 27, 2013

Poor Brick is wearing the cone of shame.

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Remember that Madonna song with the lyrics, “Holiday, celebrate”? A lot of folks in Hollywood are not singing that tune today. Box office for the day after Christmas is in and, if anything, the news is if anything gloomier for most December 25th releases.

Before we kick some films while they’re down, let’s start with yesterday’s top three, all of which were in release prior to Christmas. And that says everything, really. First place once again went to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The latest Peter Jackson indulgence grossed $10.5 million on Thursday, an increase of 13% from Christmas Day’s $9.3 million.

How strong has The Hobbit performed this week? During the Monday-to-Thursday period of its first week of release, the fifth Tolkien adaptation attained $22.4 million. From December 23rd - 26th, it earned $32.9 million. That’s a week-to-week increase of 47% for a movie that has nowhere near the demand of prior titles from the franchise.

Frozen continues to bounce around the top ten this week, soaring from seventh place on Christmas Day to second place yesterday. In the interim, its box office increased 44% from $6.3 million to $9.1 million. Perhaps no film in the top ten better demonstrates the importance of holiday box office inflation. Last week, Frozen grossed $7.6 million from Monday-to-Thursday. Yes, it earned $1.5 million more yesterday than during all four weekdays the week before Christmas.


Frozen has gained $27.4 million so far this week, an increase of just under $20 million from last week. Its box office is up by a factor of 3.6 thanks to the magic of holiday inflation. The impeccable quality of Frozen has made it the people’s choice among Thanksgiving holdovers. It has earned $219.5 million already, and the next 10 days of box office will be glorious.

Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy finishes its ninth day in theaters in third place. Unlike the top two films, Ron Burgundy’s latest adventure declined from Wednesday to Thursday. This is true of every other film in the top 10 except for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. In the case of Anchorman 2, the drop was 9% to $7.4 million. With $64.1 million already in the bank, the sequel should surpass the original’s $84.1 million domestic take by Sunday, Monday at the latest. Whether you believe that is a solid performance is up to you. I maintain that as weird as this movie is, earning $100 million in North America is a fairly impressive accomplishment, popular brand or not.

We can safely discuss the next two films before we reach the time when everyone should hide the women and children. Dissimilar yet frequently linked titles The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle rounded out the top five on Thursday. The Scorsese film fell 27% from Christmas, grossing $6.6 million. Do not read anything into that. As I stated yesterday, Christmas Day releases almost always decline the following day. The only question is how much.

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