'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' Down Sharply from Wednesday, But Still #1 on Thursday with $9.96MDecember 19, 2014 12:55 PM

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.

Weekend Actuals (Domestic) Fri, Dec. 17 - Sun, Dec. 19

Wide (1000+)

1Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events$30,061,803--3,620--$8,304$30,061,8031Paramount
2Ocean's Twelve$18,124,029-54%3,2900$5,509$68,526,9682Warner Bros.
3Spanglish$8,817,299--2,438--$3,617$8,817,2991Sony / Columbia
4The Polar Express$8,411,703-12%2,868-389$2,933$123,439,1616Warner Bros.
5Blade: Trinity$6,817,584-58%2,9120$2,341$35,632,2102New Line
6National Treasure$6,022,748-39%2,772-431$2,173$132,747,9985Disney
7Christmas with the Kranks$5,365,057-30%2,941-353$1,824$61,970,1054Sony / Columbia
8Flight of the Phoenix$5,019,526--2,604--$1,928$5,019,5261Fox
9Closer$3,350,376-10%1,090468$3,074$18,803,1523Sony / Columbia
10The Incredibles$3,120,498-38%1,930-726$1,617$236,981,8067Disney