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By Alex Edghill

Friday Morning Update: This past week the controversial Sony film The Interview' led all buzz for upcoming films on Twitter with just over 100,000 tweets. The film has famously been yanked from theaters just over a week before its originally scheduled Christmas Day opening due to threats from a group believed to be sponsored by North Korean government officials. Its a whacky story that involves hacking, cyber terrorism and dozens of other laws being broken. The repercussions of the attack on Sony could be far reaching and will surely extend far beyond the next few weeks. Our search string for the film is actually pretty limited because of its common name, so the fact that it still managed to grab over 100k tweets is also impressive despite these limitations. Sony has said they won't release the film in theaters on Christmas Day, but are looking at other potential ways to distribute it. With the level of buzz surrounding it, it has become a much larger story than just a silly new Seth Rogen / James Franco comedy. That in and of itself was enough to give it a strong chance at success given their track record together. But with the new developments, the patriotic symbolism that the film will no doubt embody, this has the potential to still be a huge profit center for Sony no matter what channel they chose to deliver it by.

San Andreas finished in second spot on the week with a very large 60k+ tweets. However, its number was very misleading as this is just the latest in a long list of examples of just how unreliable Twitter can be and why you always have to monitor your strings and the data being returned. The reason the number was so large wasn't because of The Rock and his new movie but rather a fake news story claiming that the Rockstar game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas would be having a sequel. So a search string for a film which was great last week and pulling almost 100% relevant tweets turns to garbage in a matter of seconds with that one post which got retweeted thousands of times and generated a ton of speculative buzz. Just the latest example of why you have to know what's behind the numbers before you interpret them.

Twitter Top 5 Movies for the week of December 12th to December 18th

Date Movie Tweets Rank Peak Change
12/25/14 The Interview (2014) 102,998 1 (+21) 1 1321.45%
5/29/15 San Andreas 64,026 2 (+2) 2 46.53%
12/18/15 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 61,391 3 (-2) 1 -28.88%
12/25/14 Into The Woods 46,521 4 (-2) 2 2.73%
12/25/14 Unbroken 39,296 5 (+3) 5 119.21%

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Please check the methodology page for information about our Twitter project or here for historic data.

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Sunday Update: Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies easily led the weekend box office with an estimated $56.22 million. The third and final chapter of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy has grossed $90.63 million through its first five days of release. On the heels of a sharper than expected percentage decline on Thursday, the film rebounded nicely over the weekend and registered a five-day to three day ratio of 1.61 to 1. The five-day debut of The Battle of the Five Armies was 11 percent below the $102.05 million five-day start of 2002's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (which also opened on a Wednesday) and 5 percent ahead of the $86.14 million five-day start of last year's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (which opened on a Friday).

The Battle of the Five Armies grossed $16.58 million on Friday, increased 29 percent on Saturday to take in $21.43 million and is estimated to decline 15 percent on Sunday to gross $18.22 million. That places the film's estimated weekend to Friday ratio at 3.39 to 1, which is obviously inflated by the film opening on a Wednesday. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies received an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore.

IMAX grosses were responsible for $7.70 million of the film's overall gross this weekend. Thus far The Battle of the Five Armies has grossed $13.62 million from 360 IMAX locations. That represents 15 percent of the film's overall domestic gross. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (60 percent) and moviegoers over the age of 25 (60 percent).

It what turned out to be a closer than expected race for second, Fox's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb was able to outpace Sony's Annie with an estimated opening weekend take of $17.3 million. The two films clearly split up the family audience this weekend and may remain close to one another throughout the rest of the holiday season. While it was able to claim second, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opened significantly below pre-release expectations. The third installment of the Ben Stiller led franchise had already been expected to see a significant drop-off from the performance of its predecessor, 2009's Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (which debuted with $54.17 million in its first three days). Secret of the Tomb debuted 26 percent below the $23.24 million start of 2011's Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opened with $5.63 million on Friday, increased 16 percent on Saturday to gross $6.50 million and is estimated to decrease 20 percent on Sunday to gross $5.18 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.08 to 1. Family films tend to hold up very well throughout the holiday season and that will likely be the case for Secret of the Tomb. The film received a B+ rating on CinemaScore.

Annie debuted in third with an estimated $16.3 million. The musical remake starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz opened towards the lower end of pre-release expectations. That is good news for Sony, especially after the events of the past week that led to the cancellation of the studio's release of The Interview. Annie trailed Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb by just $1.0 million this weekend. Annie opened 30 percent below the $23.24 million debut of the previously mentioned Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.

Annie started out with $5.3 million on Friday, increased 15 percent on Saturday to gross $6.1 million and is estimated to fall 20 percent on Sunday to gross $4.9 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.08 to 1. Like Secret of the Tomb, Annie is likely to hold up nicely throughout the holiday season, though between the two films, it will face more direct competition from Disney's Into the Woods starting on Christmas Day. Annie received a promising A- rating on CinemaScore, which strongly suggests that the film is going over much better with audiences than it has with critics.

Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings landed in fourth with an estimated $8.07 million. The pricey Ridley Scott directed biblical epic starring Christian Bale was down a very sharp 67 percent from last weekend's debut. Poor reviews, mixed word of mouth and direct competition from The Battle of the Five Armies are all clearly taking a toll on the film. Exodus: Gods and Kings has grossed a soft $38.90 million in ten days. That places the film 7 percent behind the $41.87 million ten-day take of Son of God earlier this year.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 followed closely behind in fifth with an estimated $7.75 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise was down a solid 39 percent from last weekend. Mockingjay - Part 1 has grossed $289.23 million in 31 days, which leaves it just $10.77 million away from becoming the second release of 2014 to reach the $300 million domestic milestone.

In its first weekend of wide release Fox Searchlight's Wild took in an estimated $4.15 million to place in sixth. The critically acclaimed drama starring Reese Witherspoon claimed a per-location average of $3,911 from 1,061 locations. Wild has grossed $7.21 million in 19 days of release.

Saturday Update: Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies took in an estimated $16.58 million on Friday to lead the daily box office for a third consecutive day. The third and final chapter of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy increased a strong 66.5 percent over Thursday. Friday's daily hold was a good sign for the film after the sharper than anticipated percentage decline it experienced on Thursday. In comparison, 2002's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers increased 39 percent on its first Friday to gross $19.22 million.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has grossed $50.98 million in three days, which places it 14 percent behind the $59.26 million three-day start of The Two Towers. BOXOFFICE currently projects $54.0 million over the weekend for The Battle of the Five Armies and a five-day start of $88.41 million. That would be in the same neighborhood as the $86.14 million five-day start of last year's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (which opened on a Friday).

IMAX grosses were responsible for $2.18 million of the film's overall gross on Friday. Thus far The Battle of the Five Armies has grossed $8.08 million from IMAX locations. That represents 15.8 percent of the film's overall domestic gross. The Battle of the Five Armies received an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore.

It was a close race for second place on Friday, with Fox's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb outpacing Sony's Annie with an estimated opening day performance of $5.625 million. The two films were separated by just $325,000 on Friday and are likely to remain fairly close to one another throughout the rest of the weekend (and perhaps throughout the rest of the holiday season as well). Secret of the Tomb opened 16 percent below the $6.71 million opening day take of 2011's Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. BOXOFFICE currently projects a $19.2 million debut for Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which would be below expectations. The film received a B+ rating on CinemaScore.

Annie claimed third place with an estimated $5.3 million. The musical remake starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz opened towards the higher end of expectations on Friday. That is welcome news for Sony, especially after the events of the past week that led to the cancellation of the studio's release of The Interview. Annie opened 21 percent below the opening day take of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. BOXOFFICE is projecting a $17.5 million debut for Annie. The film received an promising A- rating on CinemaScore.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 inched ahead of Exodus: Gods and Kings to take fourth place on Friday with an estimated $2.28 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise was down a solid 39 percent from last Friday. Mockingjay - Part 1 has grossed $283.76 million in 29 days, which leaves it $16.24 million away from becoming the second release of 2014 to reach the $300 million domestic milestone. BOXOFFICE currently estimates a $7.8 million take for Mockingjay - Part 1 this weekend.

Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings landed in fifth with an estimated $2.275 million. The pricey Ridley Scott directed biblical epic was down a very sharp 74 percent from last Friday's opening day take. Poor reviews, mixed word of mouth and direct competition from The Battle of the Five Armies are all clearly taking a toll on the film. Exodus has grossed an underwhelming $33.11 million through eight days. BOXOFFICE projects $7.7 million for Exodus: Gods and Kings this weekend, which would represent a 68 percent slide.

On its first day of wide release, Fox Searchlight's Wild took in an estimated $1.175 million from 1,061 locations. The critically acclaimed drama starring Reese Witherspoon has grossed $4.24 million in 17 days. BOXOFFICE is projecting $3.75 million for Wild this weekend.

Friday Update: Early reports indicate that The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies should easily hit $80 million after its first five days in theaters. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is on pace for $25 million-$26 million during its debut frame. Meanwhile, Annie is set for $18 million-$19 million, which is a strong enough start for a film that will play well through the holidays. 

Check back tomorrow for official studio numbers and updated weekend projections.

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By Daniel Garris

Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies took in $9.96 million on Thursday. The third and final chapter of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy was down a sharp 59 percent from Wednesday's performance. The large daily percentage decline on Thursday isn't the greatest initial sign going forward, though it should be noted that such a large percentage of Wednesday's reported gross coming from Tuesday night shows does inflate Thursday's percentage decrease a bit. In comparison, 2002's The Two Towers fell 47 percent on its first Thursday to gross $13.88 million. With a two-day start of $34.41 million, The Battle of the Five Armies is running 14 percent behind the $40.04 million take of The Two Towers. At its current pace, The Battle of the Five Armies appears headed for a five-day start in the neighborhood of $85 million.

Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings held steady in second place with $1.22 million. The pricey Ridley Scott directed biblical epic starring Christian Bale was down 7 percent from Wednesday. Exodus: Gods and Kings placed in second for the week (behind The Battle of the Five Armies) with a seven-day start of $30.84 million. While that was on the low end of pre-release expectations, the film is off to an underwhelming start with its price tag in mind and has been displaying early signs of being significantly front-loaded for a December release.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 took in $1.09 million to remain in third. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise increased 6 percent over Wednesday and was down a healthy 24 percent from last Thursday. Mockingjay - Part 1 placed in third for the week with $17.28 million. That represented a 38 percent decline from the previous frame and brings the film's four-week total to $281.48 million. Mockingjay - Part 1 is now $18.52 million away from becoming the second release of 2013 to reach the $300 million domestic milestone.

Penguins of Madagascar placed in fourth for the day with $0.502 million. The 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was up 9 percent from Wednesday and down only 2 percent from last Thursday. Penguins of Madagascar placed in fourth for the week with $9.11 million. That was down 30 percent from the previous week and brings the film's 23-day total to an underwhelming $60.65 million.

Paramount's Top Five continued to claim sixth place with $0.439 million. The critically acclaimed comedy starring and directed by Chris Rock was down 2 percent from Wednesday. Top Five rounded out the week's top five with a seven-day start of $8.89 million, which was on the low end of expectations. The film will be playing in 1,307 locations this weekend.

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By Daniel Garris

Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies debuted with $24.45 million on Wednesday. That figure includes the estimated $11.2 million the film grossed from Tuesday night shows (which represented a very significant 45.8 percent of the film's opening day gross).

The Battle of the Five Armies opened 22 percent below the $31.19 million opening day performance of last year's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, though that was expected given that The Desolation of Smaug opened on a Friday. The Battle of the Five Armies opened 6.5 percent below the $26.16 million Wednesday start of 2002's The Two Towers, which went on to gross $102.05 million in its first five days of release. Given that The Battle of the Five Armies will likely experience more initial front-loading in comparison; the last chapter of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy appears to be on course for a five-day start in the area of $88 million to $95 million.

After leading the daily box office for the previous five days, Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings fell to second on Wednesday with $1.31 million. The pricey Ridley Scott directed biblical epic starring Christian Bale was down a sharp 41 percent from Tuesday. Clearly Exodus: Gods and Kings took a big hit from the arrival of The Battle of the Five Armies in the marketplace. Exodus: Gods and Kings has grossed $29.61 million in six days of release. That places the film an underwhelming 2 percent behind the $30.2 million six-day start of the far less expensive Son of God earlier this year.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 was down one spot and 25 percent from Tuesday to land in third with $1.02 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise was down a healthy 26.5 percent from last Wednesday. Mockingjay - Part 1 has grossed $280.39 million in 27 days. That leaves the film $19.61 million away from becoming the second release of 2013 to reach the $300 million domestic milestone. Mockingjay - Part 1 is running 22.5 percent behind the $361.59 million 27-day take of last year's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Paramount's Top Five placed in sixth for the day with $0.447 million. The critically acclaimed comedy starring and directed by Chris Rock was down one spot and a solid 24 percent from Tuesday. Top Five has grossed $8.44 million in six days of moderate release. The low-budget film continues to perform on the low end of expectations, but hopes to hold up well going forward thanks in part to strong critical reviews and planned expansions.

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