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Thursday Update: 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.

Wednesday Update: Warner Bros. reports that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies earned $11.2 million from Tuesday evening shows. That's quite a bit more than the $8.8 million that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug posted from evening shows on Thursday, December 12, 2013.

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By Daniel Garris

Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings grossed $2.21 million on Tuesday to lead the daily box office for a fifth straight day. The pricey Ridley Scott directed biblical epic starring Christian Bale will obviously fall to second place today with the release of Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (which has already grossed an estimated $11.2 million from Tuesday late night shows that will be counted towards Wednesday). Exodus: Gods and Kings was up a modest 12 percent over Monday's performance, as it was already feeling the impact from The Battle of the Five Armies on Tuesday. The film has grossed $28.29 million in five days. That is on the low end of pre-release expectations and places the film a lackluster 2 percent behind the $28.86 million five-day start of Son of God earlier this year.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 held steady in second place with $1.37 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise was up 23 percent over Monday and down a healthy 23 percent from last Tuesday. Mockingjay - Part 1 has grossed $279.37 million through 26 days of release. That makes the film the second highest grossing release of 2014 thus far domestically and places it 22.5 percent behind the $360.35 million 26-day take of last year's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Paramount's Interstellar took in $0.657 million to remain in third. The Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film was up 26 percent over Monday and down a slim 20 percent from last Tuesday. While Interstellar has been holding up nicely as of late, the film is now likely to take a hit from losing IMAX screens to The Battle of the Five Armies. Interstellar has grossed $167.93 million after 40 days of wide release and has performed significantly stronger overseas.

Warner's Horrible Bosses 2 was up one spot and 23 percent over Monday to claim fourth on Tuesday with $0.621 million. The under-performing comedy sequel was down 34 percent from last Tuesday. Horrible Bosses 2 has grossed a disappointing $44.71 million through three weeks of release.

Living up to its name, Paramount's Top Five rounded out Tuesday's top five with $0.585 million. The critically acclaimed comedy starring and directed by Chris Rock was up 12 percent and down one spot from Monday. Top Five is performing towards the low end of expectations with a five-day start of $7.99 million. The low-budget film will hope to see its strong critical reviews transfer into strong word of mouth going forward.

Computer animated films Penguins of Madagascar and Big Hero 6 claimed sixth and seventh place for the day with respective daily takes of $0.550 million and $0.489 million. Both films experienced healthy daily increases yesterday, as Fox's Penguins of Madagascar was up 42 percent over Monday and Disney's Big Hero 6 was up 30 percent. Respective current total grosses stand at a strong $186.10 million for Big Hero 6 in 40 days and at an underwhelming $59.68 million for Penguins of Madagascar in 21 days.

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Hong Kong -- At the 22nd CineAsia conference, top leaders from Philips and Wanda International Cinemas announced the completion of an agreement which selects Philips as the exclusive supplier of xenon lamps for all of Wanda's IMAX Gen III screens in China. As part of this agreement, Philips will supply Wanda with its new XDC 6500B xenon lamp specifically designed for and approved by IMAX for use in the IMAX Gen III projection system. The XDC 6500B provides outstanding performance, reliability and quality that will help Wanda's drive to further build up the leading movie theater chain in China.

With a maximum rated power of 6.5 kW, the Philips XDC 6500B has a broad operating power range to accommodate a wide range of screen sizes and formats. The XDC 6500B features exceptional arc stability, long life and robust construction. All Philips cinema xenon lamps are manufactured in the U.S. using the latest production equipment and technology. The experienced lighting specialists of the Philips global cinema xenon team are ready to provide personalized support, training on best practices lamp installation techniques to minimize total cost of ownership.

Established in 2005, Wanda International Cinemas boast 1,315 screens (including 94 IMAX screens) at 150 movie theaters in over 80 cities across China as of 30 June, 2014. In 2014, Wanda accounts for 14.5% of total movie theater revenue in China. Starting from 2014, Wanda plans to add over 400 screens per year and expects to run 260 movie theaters (with 2,300 screens) by 2016, which will help Wanda to continue to secure the No.1 position in box office revenue.

 

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By Daniel Garris

Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings took in $1.97 million on Monday to lead the daily box office for a fourth consecutive day. The pricey Ridley Scott directed biblical epic starring Christian Bale fell 67 percent from Sunday. Exodus: Gods and Kings is performing on the low end of expectations, but is off to a lackluster start nonetheless, especially with its price tag and likely front-loading in mind. The film has grossed $26.09 million in four days. That places Exodus: Gods and Kings 4 percent behind the $27.07 million four-day start of the much less expensive Son of God earlier this year.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 placed in second on Monday with $1.11 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise fell 65 percent from Sunday and a healthy 23 percent from last Monday. Mockingjay - Part 1 has grossed $277.99 million through 25 days of release. That makes the film the second highest grossing release of 2014 thus far domestically and places it 22.5 percent behind the $358.82 million 25-day take of last year's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Paramount's Interstellar took third place on Monday with $0.523 million. The Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film was down 65 percent from Sunday and down only 19.5 percent from last Monday. While Interstellar has been holding up nicely as of late, the film is likely to take a big hit this week from losing IMAX screens to Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Interstellar has grossed $167.28 million after 39 days of wide release.

Fellow Paramount release Top Five followed very closely behind in fourth with $0.518 million. The critically acclaimed comedy starring and directed by Chris Rock was down 66 percent from Sunday. Top Five is performing towards the low end of expectations with a four-day start of $7.41 million. The film will hope to see its strong critical reviews transfer into strong word of mouth going forward. Paramount will be expanding the film into additional locations over the next two weeks.

Warner's Horrible Bosses 2 rounded out the day's top five with $0.507 million. The under-performing comedy sequel was down 55 percent from Sunday and down 30 percent from last Monday. The 20-day total for Horrible Bosses 2 stands at just $44.09 million.

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Filmgoers in Boston and Denver will be able to have a more seamless experience in attending AMC Theatres locations using MoviePass. The two companies will begin a pilot partnership called MoviePass Premium in both cities starting in early 2015. It will be available as a limited trial for AMC guests on a first-come, first-served basis. The premium pass will allow AMC patrons to attend up to one screening a day for any film at any time, including IMAX and 3D releases, for $45 a month.

"This is the first time a premium level subscription service has been launched in the U.S. and marks a significant step forward by offering passionate movie lovers the premium sight and sound experiences available in movie theatres," said Stacy Spikes, CEO and Co-Founder of MoviePass. "We believe this premium tier subscription, combined with a new online ticketing feature, will appeal to our largest demographic, 18-34-year-old moviegoers. Our goal is to keep people coming out to the movies again and again."

MoviePass is a subscription service that allows audiences to attend up to one screening a day for a fee of $30 or $35 a month (depending on the area). The company not been able to land a major exhibition partner for their service since their launch in 2011, however, instead relying on a multi-step system in order for viewers to attend screenings. The AMC partnership will allow easier convenience and integration between the subscription service and the exhibitor’s screenings. Moviegoers will also be able to enjoy the traditional MoviePass membership at AMC Theatres for $35 month, without the inclusion of IMAX or 3D films.

"AMC Theatres leads the way in the movie exhibition industry in offering innovations that ‘wow' our customers," said Christina Sternberg, senior vice president of Corporate Strategy and Communications. "This pilot will provide more convenience for our guests, and responds to the preference of many consumers for monthly entertainment subscriptions such as music and magazines, which we believe will increase the frequency of movie going." AMC plans to add more cities to the partnership in 2015 if the pilot program proves to be successful.

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