Weekend Wrap-Up

Holdovers strong; Christmas releases' geese are cooked

By David Mumpower

December 29, 2013

Does this look as fake as I think it does?

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On almost every day this week, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy finished in third place. Thus, no one should be surprised that the Paramount comedy finished in that slot for the duration of Christmas weekend. The (too) heavily marketed comedy grossed $20.2 million over the course of the weekend. That’s depreciation of 25% from its opening weekend gross of $26.8 million. It has effectively matched the original Anchorman’s $84.1 million after only a dozen days in theaters. It will soar past the $100 million mark at some point next week, so all the complaints about the ubiquity of Will Ferrell have not had a negative impact on the box office. I think we are all feeling conflicted about that.

Sony’s awards season contender, American Hustle finishes in fourth place with $19.6 million. That’s an increase of 2% from last weekend’s $19.1 million. The movie unites the key cast members of two previous David O. Russell movies, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook. American Hustle’s cumulative total of $60 million is noteworthy relative to those two titles. The Fighter required 35 days to reach that amount while Silver Linings Playbook needed 71 days. Since those films grossed $93.6 million and $132.1 million respectively, this $40 million production will be another golden goose for Sony.

The best of the Christmas releases can manage no higher than fifth place this weekend. The Wolf of Wall Street did not make the type of financial killing that would please Jordan Belfort, the man whose story is told in the film. Still, an opening weekend of $18.5 million is a solid start for Paramount’s second film in the top five. It has earned $34.3 million since Christmas Day and unlike almost all the other holiday releases, it is still showing signs of life at the box office. Then again, with a lofty price tag of $100 million, The Wolf of Wall Street still has a lot of work to do domestically.

When Disney determined they would create a movie about founder Walt Disney, I sincerely doubt that they expected it to be their second best film of the weekend. I am confident that they did not plan on Saving Mr. Banks losing to week five (technically, week six) of Frozen. I doubt anybody at the studio is complaining, though. Saving Mr. Banks grossed $14 million over the Friday-Sunday portion of the week, an increase of 50% from last weekend’s $10 million. After only ten days in wide release, the movie has already earned more domestically than its modest $35 million budget. Along with Frozen, Disney films experienced the two best weekend to weekend increases within the top 10. It seems like Disney can do no wrong this year. Well, other than The Lone Ranger.


The films placing in seventh and eighth place this weekend were both Christmas Day releases. The best of the two is Fox’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which grossed $13 million during its first weekend. The Ben Stiller remake of the 1947 classic has earned $25.6 million in five days. Next up is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, as the second annual Hunger Games took a strong step toward the $400 million plateau this weekend. It earned $10.2 million, giving it a running total of $391.1 million. In the process, it became the 18th biggest domestic release of all time.

The rest of the top ten is comprised of 47 Ronin and Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, two films whose holidays were not particularly bright. 47 Ronin is shaping up to be one of the biggest bombs of the 2000s. The $175 million production managed a dismal $9.9 over three days and $20.6 million since Christmas. Keanu Reeves is no longer a thing. Also struggling is the latest Madea movie , which grossed only $7.4 million. With a running total of $43.7 million, the Lionsgate franchise is clearly slipping in popularity. It’s either that or nobody wants to spend the holidays with Madea.

Finishing outside the top ten are another pair of Christmas Day releases. Grudge Match, a Warner Bros. title, is the third Sylvester Stallone failure of 2013. It earned only $7.3 million over the weekend with a grand total of $13.4 million after five days. Also this week, Justin Bieber retired the same day as Justin Bieber’s Believe was released in theaters. This is the equivalent of quitting moments before the boss fires you. Believe grossed an absolutely pathetic $2 million, which is only 7% of the $29.5 million that Justin Bieber: Never Say Never earned during its opening weekend. North American audiences have finally been inoculated against Bieber Fever.

Top Weekend Box Office for 12/27/13-12/29/13 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug WARNER BROS. $29,850,000 - 5% $190,304,000
2 Frozen DISNEY $28,845,000 + 47% $248,366,000
3 Anchorman 2 PARAMOUNT $20,150,000 - 25% $83,667,000
4 American Hustle SONY $19,550,000 + 2% $60,035,000
5 The Wolf of Wall Street PARAMOUNT $18,510,000 New $34,302,000
6 Saving Mr. Banks DISNEY $14,021,000 + 50% $37,844,000
7 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Paramount $13,000,000 New $25,595,000
8 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Lionsgate $10,200,000 + 16% $391,123,843
9 47 Ronin UNIVERSAL $9,868,630 New $20,570,850
10 A Madea Christmas Lionsgate $7,400,000 - 12% $43,719,076
11 Grudge Match WARNER BROS. $7,310,000 New $13,435,000
12 Walking With Dinosaurs Fox $7,100,000 0% $20,768,300
  Also Opening/Notables
  Justin Bieber's Believe Open Road Films $2,000,000 New $4,250,000
  August: Osage County Weinstein Co. $179,475 New $179,475
  Lone Survivor UNIVERSAL $92,468 New $155,435
  The Invisible Woman $37,149 New $58,265
  Dhoom 3 Yash Raj Films $1,125,000 - 67% $6,850,000
  Her WARNER BROS. $645,000 + 148% $1,538,000
  The Past Sony Classics $39,240 + 34% $93,244
  Inside Llewyn Davis Cbs Films $1,254,574 + 16% $4,625,289
  Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom Weinstein Co. $2,422,000 + 8186% $4,731,468
  Philomena Weinstein Co. $1,829,000 + 51% $16,506,423
  Nebraska PARAMOUNT $755,000 + 30% $5,728,500
  Thor: the Dark World DISNEY $660,000 - 51% $202,388,000
  The Book Thief Twentieth Century Fox $640,000 - 15% $17,910,500
  Dallas Buyers Club Focus Features $286,805 - 25% $15,774,369
  12 Years a Slave FOX SEARCHLIGHT $388,000 + 5% $37,814,000
  Gravity WARNER BROS. $525,000 + 22% $254,592,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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