By Daniel Garris
Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies took in an estimated $21.91 million this weekend to lead the weekend box office for a third consecutive frame. The third and final installment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy was down a significant 46 percent from last weekend. All previous Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films have experienced declines in the 40 percent to 49 percent range the weekend after New Year's and that trend held up for The Battle of the Five Armies. The film surpassed the $200 million domestic mark this weekend and has grossed $220.77 million in 19 days. That places The Battle of the Five Armies 9.5 percent ahead of the $201.54 million 19-day take of last year's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and 7 percent behind the $238.00 million 19-day gross of 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Disney's Into the Woods remained in second place this weekend with an estimated $19.07 million. The modestly budgeted Rob Marshall directed musical featuring Meryl Streep was down 39 percent from last weekend. Into the Woods has grossed a strong $91.21 million in eleven days. That places the film 7 percent ahead of the $85.54 million eleven-day gross of 2008's Bedtime Stories and a slim 1 percent behind the $92.48 million eleven-day take of 2012's Les Misérables. Into the Woods continued to run neck and neck with Universal's Unbroken this weekend and the two films are currently separated by just $3.40 million thus far.
Unbroken placed in third with an estimated $18.4 million. The Angelina Jolie directed war drama was down a respectable 40 percent from last weekend. While Unbroken has shown some relative front-loading thus far, in the bigger picture the film has grossed a significantly stronger than expected $87.81 million in eleven days thanks in part to its very strong Christmas weekend start. Unbroken is running 11 percent ahead of the $79.29 million eleven-day take of 2008's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and 5 percent behind the $92.45 million eleven-day gross of 2012's Django Unchained.
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death debuted in fourth place with a surprisingly strong estimated start of $15.15 million. The PG-13 rated horror sequel from Relativity exceeded expectations, which had been muted in part from soft pre-release online activity heading into the weekend. The film's debut was especially good news for Relativity given that the film was an inexpensive acquisition for the distributor. Early January is historically a good time to release horror films and that certainty was the case for The Woman in Black 2. The film opened 27 percent below the $20.87 million start of 2012's The Woman in Black (a CBS Films release), which was quite respectable given that The Woman in Black 2 doesn't feature Daniel Radcliffe.
Fox's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb claimed fifth place with an estimated $14.45 million. The third installment of the Ben Stiller led franchise continued to display impressive holding power as it was down just 28 percent from last weekend. Secret of the Tomb has grossed $89.73 million in 17 days. That places the film 3 percent behind the $92.73 million 17-day gross of 2011's Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. The current total gross to opening weekend ratio for Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb already stands at 5.25 to 1.
Annie placed in sixth with an estimated $11.4 million. Sony's musical remake starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz also held up nicely this weekend as it fell 31 percent from last weekend. Annie has grossed a very solid $72.63 million in 17 days. That gives the film a current total gross to opening weekend ratio of 4.58 to 1. Annie is running 22 percent behind the 17-day take of the mentioned Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.
The Imitation Game continued to impress in moderate release with an estimated seventh place take of $8.11 million from 754 locations. That gave the awards season hopeful from The Weinstein Company a per-location average of $10,757 for the frame, which easily represented the weekend's strongest location average for films in the top ten. The Imitation Game has grossed $30.78 million to date and appears to be in great shape for a lengthy box office run, especially when considering it was up 2 percent over last weekend without the aid of a major expansion this weekend.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 finished in eighth with an estimated $7.7 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise was down a very healthy 23 percent from last weekend. Mockingjay - Part 1 is currently the second highest grossing release of 2014 domestically with a 45-day take of $323.87 million. That leaves the film just $9.10 million away from the current $332.97 million total gross of Guardians of the Galaxy (through Thursday).
Paramount's Selma and Warner's American Sniper both continued to impress on the platform front with respective estimated weekend takes of $645,000 and $640,000. Selma claimed a per-location average of $29,318 from 22 locations, while American Sniper generated a simply massive per-location average of $160,000 from 4 locations. Respective eleven-day totals for the awards season hopefuls stand at $2.08 million for Selma and at $2.19 million for American Sniper. Selma will be expanding into nationwide release this coming Friday, while American Sniper will receive a nationwide expansion on January 16.
Elsewhere on the platform front, A24's A Most Violent Year was off to a promising start with an estimated $188,000 from four locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the awards season hopeful starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain a per-location average of $47,000 for the frame. The film, which opened on Wednesday, has grossed $300,000 in its first five days of release. A Most Violent Year is scheduled to be expanded throughout January, before receiving a nationwide release on January 30.
By Shawn Robbins
Please note that most studios are reporting estimates due to the holidays. Actual results will be reported on Monday, January 5.
All figures reported are domestic only unless otherwise stated.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies held onto first place yesterday with an estimated $8.38 million, bringing the finale's domestic total up to $207.23 million. The film crossed the $200 million threshold in 17 days, two days faster than The Desolation of Smaug last year. Five Armies is on track to bring in $22.3 million this weekend in a likely third straight weekend atop the box office.
The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death debuted to $7.75 million on Friday, not far behind its predecessor's $8.3 million opening day three years ago (which translated to a $20.9 million weekend). It should be noted that the first film opened over Super Bowl weekend, while it's sequel will likely be more front-loaded due to opening after New Year's Day. BoxOffice projects a $16 million weekend for this sequel.
Into the Woods claimed third place yesterday with another $7.46 million. The Disney musical's total now stands at $79.6 million. BoxOffice projects an $18.3 million frame.
Unbroken wasn't far behind in fourth place yesterday with $7.4 million, bringing its total up to $76.8 million. Please note that Universal also revised the film's Thursday gross down from $6.95 million to $6.9 million. BoxOffice projects a $19.6 million weekend.
In fifth place, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb added $5.93 million. The threequel's total now stands at $81.2 million. BoxOffice projects a $15.3 million weekend.
Meanwhile, The Imitation Game continues to perform very well in semi-limited release. The Alan Turing biopic nabbed $2.95 million from 754 locations on Friday, giving it a $3,916 per-theater average. The film's total is now $25.6 million and is expected to bring in around $8.1 million this weekend.
The Gambler added $2.58 million yesterday, giving it $23.84 million in all so far. BoxOffice projects a $6.6 million weekend.
Last but not least, American Sniper continues to roll on in platform release with a strong $234,000 Friday take from 4 locations -- giving it a $58,430 per-theater average. The film has tallied $1.79 million through 9 days of release. BoxOffice projects a weekend close to $645,000.
By Daniel Garris
Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies took in an estimated $9.33 million on New Year's Day to lead the daily box office for the 15th time over the past 16 days. The third and final installment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy was up 56 percent over Wednesday's New Year's Eve performance and down 29 percent from last Thursday's Christmas Day performance. The Battle of the Five Armies was the week's top film with $71.76 million. That was down 23 percent from the previous week and brings the film's 16-day total to $198.86 million. The Battle of the Five Armies is currently running 10 percent ahead of the $181.06 million 16-day take of last year's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and 6 percent behind the $211.91 million 16-day gross of 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Disney's Into the Woods was up one spot and 53 percent over Wednesday to move back into second place on Thursday with $8.08 million. The Rob Marshall directed musical featuring Meryl Streep was down 46 percent from last Thursday's opening day performance. Into the Woods placed in second for the week with $57.05 million and has grossed $72.14 million in eight days of release. That places the film 11 percent ahead of the $65.04 million eight-day take of 2008's Bedtime Stories and 10.5 percent behind the $80.58 million eight-day gross of 2012's Les Misérables.
Unbroken was down one place to claim third with an estimated $6.95 million. The Angelina Jolie directed war drama from Universal was up a modest 18 percent over Wednesday and down 55 percent from last Thursday. Unbroken placed in third this week with $54.02 million and has grossed a significantly stronger than expected $69.46 million in eight days. The film is running 15 percent ahead of the $60.61 million eight-day start of 2008's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and 11 percent behind the $77.83 million eight-day take of 2012's Django Unchained.
Fox's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb held steady in fourth place with an estimated $5.93 million. The third installment of the Ben Stiller led franchise was up 22 percent over Wednesday and down a slim 17 percent from last Thursday. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb placed in fourth for the week with $40.75 million. That represented a strong 18 percent increase over the film's opening week performance and brings the film's two-week total to $75.28 million.
Annie rounded out Thursday's top five with an estimated $4.27 million. Sony's musical remake starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz was up 42 percent over Wednesday and down only 7 percent from last Thursday. Annie took fifth place this week with $31.9 million. That was up 9 percent over the previous week and brings the film's two-week start to a solid $61.23 million.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 placed in sixth with $2.89 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise was up 48 percent over Wednesday and up 8 percent over last Thursday. Mockingjay - Part 1 placed in sixth for the week with $19.52 million. That represented a 29 percent increase over the previous frame and places the film's six-week total at $316.17 million.
The Weinstein Company's The Imitation Game and Paramount's The Gambler claimed seventh and eighth place respectively with estimated daily grosses of $2.75 million and $2.39 million. The Imitation Game was up 31 percent over Wednesday, while The Gambler increased by 50 percent. Respective current total grosses stand at $22.67 million for The Imitation Game and at $21.27 million for The Gambler.
The Walt Disney Studios grossed more than $4 billion in global box office sales for the second consecutive year. The studio grossed $1.614 billion North America in 2014, complementing the figure with $2.384 billion overseas. Disney finished the year with $4.448 billion, slightly below last year's record of $4.73 billion. It is the fifth consecutive year that Disney crosses $2 billion overseas.
2014 Disney Highlights
Guardians of the Galaxy - $773.7M Global / $440.7M Overseas / $333M North America
Maleficent - $758.2M Global / $516.8M Overseas / $241.4M North America
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - $713.3M Global / $453.5M Overseas / $259.8M North America
Big Hero 6 - $353M Global / $146.5M Overseas / $206.5M North America
Please note that Wednesday grosses from most studios are their official estimates. Actual results will be reported on Friday.
Warner Bros. reports The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies added an estimated $6.0 million on New Year's Eve Wednesday as it retained first place. That figure brings the finale's domestic total up to $189.5 million through 15 days of release -- 11 percent more than The Desolation of Smaug earned through the same release point.
Unbroken grabbed $5.9 million yesterday in second place, giving the Universal pic a total of $62.5 million through 7 days. Angelina Jolie's directorial effort is pacing 19 percent ahead of where The Curious Case of Benjamin Button stood at the same point following its Christmas Day release six years ago.
Disney's Into the Woods moved down to third place with $5.3 million yesterday. The musical's 7-day total is $64.1 million, placing it 13 percent ahead of the pace of 2008's Bedtime Stories, which was also released by Disney on Christmas Day that year.
Fox's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb pulled $4.9 million on Wednesday, landing it in fourth place. That brings the three-quel's total up to $69.4 million through 13 days.
Annie finished off the top five yesterday with $3.0 million. Sony's remake has tallied $56.96 million through 13 days of release.
Just outside the top five, The Imitation Game posted another $2.1 million from its 747 locations -- giving it a $2,811 per-screen average and a total of $19.9 million so far.
The Gambler added $1.59 million from 2,478 theaters yesterday, bringing its 6-day total to $18.9 million.
The calendar's resetting once again, and 2014's domestic box office haul will land just north of $10.3 billion -- down an estimated 5 percent from last year's record $10.9 billion. December is projected to finish around $890 million, 15 percent off last year's final month.
The LEGO Movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, hand a handful of other titles helped 2014 best three of 2013's first four months. Unfortunately, May, June, and July combined for the weakest three months of summer since 2006. That set the stage for the first billion-dollar August ($1.02 billion, to be exact) -- driven largely by smash hits Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Two months later, Gone Girl and The Equalizer's post-opening run helped form the best October on record ($758.3 million).
For a summary of 2014 box office stats, be sure to follow this page as it's updated over the coming days.
In all, since North American grosses began routinely eclipsing the $10 billion annual threshold in 2009, this past year will rank only ahead of 2011's $10.2 billion. It's easy to look back and point out the critical or commercial failures of any year, but we see no sense in pounding that drum any louder than necessary. Below are six glass-half-full takeaways from the year that was.
Sequels Aren't Just Money-Printers
As commonplace as they are to the movie business, we still wince with caution at the announcement of sequels, prequels, and reboots. That's a wise approach to maintain, but 2014 proved art can still take precedence over -- or hold reasonable balance with -- financial motive. For just a few examples: Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 22 Jump Street, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 were each met with strong praise from both critics and audiences alike.
Fewer Blockbusters, Fewer Disasters
2013 became somewhat notorious for its wealth of big-budget flops. Thankfully, that trend receded a bit this year.
On the other side of the coin, this marked just the second time since 2007 that no movie hit (or even came near) the $400 million domestic benchmark. In fact, Guardians' $333 million is the lowest to claim the yearly crown since 2001's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone won its year with $318 million.
That doesn't diminish the success of Guardians or other films, though. Markets inherently move up and down. After 2013's record summer and holiday performances, moviegoers decided to act more frugally in 2014. That's why, despite falling short of their predecessors' juggernaut runs, pics like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies can only be viewed as resounding successes. There just weren't enough "event" films to truly live up to their moniker over the past twelve months.
Keeping the Faith
Faith-based films were a major box office story this year. While Noah ($101 million) will finish as the top-grosser of the bunch, it also stood as the most divisive and controversial. Heaven Is for Real, Son of God, and God's Not Dead (which earned $212 million combined) rang much truer for their audiences and revived a dormant notion: that not-so-subtle Christian themes can find success in theaters. This is clearly an audience not to be overlooked in the future, but one that can also be turned off very quickly when special effects take precedence over the message.
While another studio (which we'll get to shortly) tends to dominate the headlines, 20th Century Fox will claim the biggest market share of any studio in 2014 with over 17 percent of total box office grosses. That's a significant improvement from last year when the studio netted less than 10 percent, merely the sixth-best among the seven major studios.
How'd they do it? Strong scheduling and audience targeting. Son of God brought out faith-based audiences back in February and March, The Other Woman gave girls something worth checking out in early summer, Bryan Singer delivered another hit X-Men sequel of a unique, time-traveling breed, and The Fault in Our Stars reaffirmed -- like Lionsgate's Divergent months before -- the value of young adult adaptations and Shailene Woodley's rising star. Following those standouts, the Apes sequel wowed summer crowds, Let's Be Cops and The Maze Runner stood out during August and September, and of course, Gone Girl hit it big in the fall.
Marvel Is Unstoppable
This point has been belabored enough that it's just stating the obvious. Still, let's be honest: entering 2014, Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe wasn't quite living up to the hype. Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World did very well at the box office in the preceding year, but audiences weren't overly in love with either one.
The game changed with Winter Soldier's April-record $95 million opening, strong reviews, and very positive word of mouth to kick-start the summer a full month early. In an impressive scheduling strategy of their/Disney's own, Marvel book-ended that success when Guardians of the Galaxy set an August record with its $94.3 million opening, generating a bestselling soundtrack, and igniting the kind of rare buzz among fans and casual viewers alike that helped it reach nearly $333 million stateside ($773 million globally).
Not bad for the movie that was supposed to be Marvel Studios' first outright failure, eh?
Disney May Be Even More Unstoppable
They claimed the top two movies worldwide, and two of the top three domestically, one year ago. We've seen Disney's box office dominance coming for awhile now, but their success with "predictable" hits has spilled over to other projects. It's not just Marvel carrying them, nor Pixar (who, for the first time in nine years, didn't release a movie in 2014).
Following the phenom of Frozen, Disney capitalized on its resurgence with family and female moviegoers. With the help of Angelina Jolie's star power, Maleficent became one of the biggest movies of summer. Over the holiday season, Big Hero 6 -- despite a somewhat clunky title -- marked another hit for the Walt Disney Animation Studios, while Into the Woods is currently serving as one of the top choices for holiday patrons and will soon clear $100 million domestically.
On top of all that, Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and co. easily made the biggest impact on social media by way of future releases this year. The trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron gave fans their first look at the eagerly awaited reunion of Iron Man and the gang taking on a new villain of devilish potential in James Spader's motion-captured hands.
Just when you thought buzz for an upcoming movie couldn't be any louder, the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens nearly brought the Internet to its knees over Thanksgiving weekend. Widely reported as the most-watched trailer of the year, Episode VII of the Star Wars saga is still one year out from its December 18 release, but Disney isn't wasting any time getting word out for the sequel that many audiences have waited nearly thirty-two years for.
That's it for this 2014 wrap-up, but we're sure to have left some subjects on the cutting room floor. What were some of your takeaways and favorite movie debates from 2014? Will we still be talking about The Interview in thirty years? Is Gareth Edwards' Godzilla criminally underrated? Will Christopher Nolan's Interstellar prove to have been ahead of its time?
Share your thoughts below!