Monday UPDATE: And I quote: "Anything less than $85M will be a disappointment for Warner Bros." Well, that's what happened to the good ol' WB as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey banked a December record $84.8M Fri-Sun, just a shade under the aforementioned mark but on the low side of expectations nonetheless. And another not-so-swell sign, business fell 25 percent Friday-to-Saturday, which signals fan boys were out in force early and word-of-mouth may be an issue (though its "A" Cinemascore suggests otherwise). But looking at the release schedule, with Christmas around the corner and kids out of school, there's nothing of note standing in the way of a handsome run through the new year.
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $84.8 million
2. Rise of the Guardians $7.4 million
3. Lincoln $7.2 million
4. Skyfall $7.0 million
5. Life of Pi $5.4 million
Good Lord it's been a dull run at the box office. Since the final Twilight flick dropped a month back, there's been a whole bunch of nada at the multiplex. Heck, Skyfall topped the charts last weekend in its fifth weekend of release. The lull ends today as the first of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit films arrives just in time to save Christmas, putting a bunch of behinds back into seats. It should have no issues breaking the December opening record ($77M) set by I Am Legend five years ago.
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $96M - Hits some 4,000 cineplexes in a slew of formats: 2D, 3D, 3D 48FPS (frames per second) and IMAX 3D 48FPS. With the vast majority of screens showing it in 3D, the upcharge should raise The Hobbit's take to near $100M – anything less than $85M will be a disappointment for Warner Bros. If you have plans to see it, don't waste your time with any option other than 3D 48FPS to truly appreciate Jackson's otherworldly orgy of visual opulence.
- Rise of the Guardians $7.25M - Has banked $65M in its first three weeks, a figure Dreamworks Animation expected to hit after one.
- Skyfall $7M - Approaching the $1B mark worldwide.
- Lincoln $6.5M - The deluge of award nominations this week will keep the 16th president chugging along – just crossed the $100M mark.
- Life of Pi $6M - Bolstered by Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture (Drama) and Best Director, Ang Lee's stranded-on-a-lifeboat-with-a-bengal-tiger sensory stunner stays in the top 5.