'Unbroken' Surprises with $15.59M on Christmas Day; 'Into the Woods' a Strong Second with $15.08M; 'The Battle of the Five Armies' Holds Up Well with $13.14MDecember 26, 2014 10:40 AM

by Daniel Garris

Universal's Unbroken debuted in first place on Christmas Day with a stronger than expected estimated opening day take of $15.59 million (which included an estimated $850,000 from Christmas Eve shows). The Angelina Jolie directed war drama proved to be critic proof on Christmas Day, as mixed critical reviews clearly didn't hamper the film out of the gates. Unbroken appears to have been aided greatly by the pre-existing fanbase of the Laura Hillenbrand written book. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Unbroken delivered the third largest Christmas Day debut of all-time, behind only 2009's Sherlock Holmes and 2012's Les Misérables. Unbroken opened an impressive 4 percent ahead of the $15.01 million opening day take of 2012's Django Unchained. The film received an A- rating on CinemaScore, which suggests the film is going over significantly better with moviegoers than it has with critics.

Disney's Into the Woods opened in a very close second with an estimated $15.08 million (which included an an estimated $1.1 million from Christmas Eve shows). The opening day performance of the Rob Marshall directed musical was especially impressive given that the film opened in a relatively modest 2,440 locations. That gave Into the Woods a per-location average of $6,182 for the day. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Into the Woods claimed the fourth largest Christmas Day debut ever. Into the Woods opened 17 percent below the $18.11 million Christmas Day debut of Les Misérables and may prove to be less initially front-loaded than that film was due in part to being more family friendly. Into the Woods received a modest B rating on CinemaScore.

Although Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies slid to third on Thursday with an estimated $13.14 million, the third and final chapter of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy was up a very healthy 118 percent over Wednesday. The sizable percentage increase of The Battle of the Five Armies strongly suggests that Christmas Day grosses in general may have been even more inflated than usual, which has been a growing trend in recent years. The Battle of the Five Armies was the week's top film with a seven-day take of $92.69 million and has grossed $127.10 million in nine days. That places it 9 percent ahead of the $116.94 million nine-day take of last year's The Desolation of Smaug and 7.5 percent behind the $137.39 million nine-day gross of 2012's An Unexpected JourneyThe Battle of the Five Armies is still likely to lead over the weekend given that its Christmas Day performance was within shouting distance of both Unbroken and Into the Woods.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb placed in fourth with an estimated $7.35 million. The third installment of the Ben Stiller led franchise from Fox was up a very strong 164 percent over Wednesday. After a slower than expected start over the weekend, Secret of the Tomb has held up quite nicely during the holiday aided midweek. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb placed in second for the week with a seven-day start of $34.78 million.

Paramount's The Gambler rounded out Thursday's top five with an estimated $5.0 million opening day take. That represented a solid start for the modestly budgeted drama starring Mark Wahlberg, especially since the decision to initially release the film wide was fairly last minute. One potentially troubling early sign for The Gambler is its lackluster C+ rating on CinemaScore.

Annie rounded out its first week of release with an estimated sixth place take of $4.6 million. Sony's musical remake increased 127 percent over Wednesday. Annie held up well on Thursday, especially given the new direct competition from Into the Woods. Annie placed in third for the week with a seven-day start of $29.24 million.

The Weinstein Company's The Imitation Game had a very successful expansion on Christmas Day as the awards season hopeful placed in seventh with an estimated $3.08 million from 747 locations. The Imitation Game has grossed $6.70 million to date and looks to have a very lengthy box office run ahead of it.

Other estimated opening day performances on Christmas included $1.42 million for The Weinstein Company's Big Eyes from 1,307 locations, $1.04 million for Sony's much buzzed about The Interview from 331 locations, $322,000 for Paramount's Selma from 19 locations and a promising $240,000 for Warner's American Sniper from just 4 locations.

Weekend Actuals (Domestic) Fri, Jan. 6 - Sun, Jan. 8

Wide (1000+)

1The Devil Inside$33,732,515--2,285--$14,763$33,732,5151Paramount
2Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$19,868,059-32%3,555100$5,589$169,568,9714Paramount
3Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$13,689,321-34%3,603-100$3,799$157,049,3824Warner Bros.
4The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)$11,364,714-23%2,95036$3,852$76,900,6283Sony / Columbia
5Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$9,496,913-42%3,425-299$2,773$111,585,3674Fox
6War Horse$8,679,470-40%2,783236$3,119$56,904,6823Disney / DreamWorks
7We Bought a Zoo$8,305,797-37%3,1707$2,620$56,399,9063Fox
8The Adventures of Tintin$6,727,740-41%3,006-81$2,238$62,008,0153Paramount
9The Darkest Hour$3,124,316-25%2,163-164$1,444$18,690,6053Summit
10New Year's Eve$3,107,343-51%1,864-361$1,667$51,868,1405Warner Bros. / New Line
11The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$1,472,095-29%1,058-353$1,391$278,415,7338Lionsgate / Summit
12The Muppets$1,358,289-49%1,236-305$1,099$85,561,1957Disney

Limited (100 — 999)

1Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$5,478,521405%809752$6,772$10,129,6705Focus
2The Descendants$2,584,137-24%737-21$3,506$43,960,7008Fox Searchlight
4Young Adult$1,281,347-39%830-157$1,544$14,747,8515Paramount
5The Sitter$1,154,859-31%758-590$1,524$28,722,9945Fox
6The Artist$1,120,111-15%1725$6,512$7,097,6127Weinstein Company
7My Week with Marilyn$827,327-11%584-46$1,417$10,458,3407Weinstein Company
8Puss in Boots (2011)$587,390-22%351-38$1,673$146,597,21511Paramount / DreamWorks
9Tower Heist$303,85020%29542$1,030$77,198,42010Universal
10Happy Feet Two$226,987-43%285-240$796$61,356,5968Warner Bros.
11Real Steel$204,587-15%213-14$961$84,857,54514Disney / DreamWorks
12Moneyball$167,252-18%231-19$724$75,267,10516Sony / Columbia
13Jack and Jill$161,407-15%171-51$944$71,974,4939Sony / Columbia
14Courageous$158,7614%19110$831$34,311,60915Sony / TriStar
15In Time$115,35629%1329$874$37,238,31711Fox
16J. Edgar$110,346-55%152-303$726$36,862,1789Warner Bros.
17Arthur Christmas$102,644-85%280-1063$367$46,440,4917Sony / Columbia
18Dolphin Tale$95,346-37%149-39$640$72,165,81916Warner Bros.
19Immortals$89,374-29%128-100$698$82,851,9139Relativity Media
20Footloose (2011)$74,033-17%131-51$565$51,780,53713Paramount
21The Ides of March$71,199-15%114-29$625$40,962,53414Sony / Columbia
22A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$55,983-43%125-120$448$35,033,75910Warner Bros. / New Line

Platform (1 — 99)

1A Dangerous Method$279,280-7%643$4,364$2,076,1787Sony Pictures Classics
2Shame$210,0595%45-10$4,668$2,366,6696Fox Searchlight
3The Iron Lady$176,374-20%51$35,275$520,6692Weinstein Company
4Pariah (2011)$109,972126%117$9,997$233,4112Focus
5Carnage (2011)$109,33817%153$7,289$530,5254Sony Pictures Classics
6Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$99,125-11%60$16,521$498,6693Warner Bros.
7A Separation$92,63856%63$15,440$198,0462Sony Pictures Classics
8Born to Be Wild 3D$87,537-2%45-4$1,945$15,327,37040Warner Bros. / IMAX
9Melancholia$87,15538%61-2$1,429$2,675,9139Magnolia Pictures
10Pina$83,02716%30$27,676$384,0683IFC Films
11Drive (2011)$56,208129%305$1,874$34,911,58517FilmDistrict
12The Way$55,496-2%503$1,110$4,266,62814Producers Distribution Agency
13Hubble 3D$36,477-57%183$2,027$30,568,71995Warner Bros. / IMAX
14In the Land of Blood and Honey$32,289241%75$4,613$90,6813FilmDistrict
15Margin Call$31,23432%301$1,041$5,300,73212Roadside Attractions
16The Help$28,247-26%50-15$565$169,556,17822Disney / DreamWorks
17The Skin I Live In$21,663-2%4214$516$3,085,78613Sony Pictures Classics
18Under the Sea 3D$21,171-24%93$2,352$30,358,715152Warner Bros. / IMAX
19Le Havre$19,952--18--$1,108$457,72012Janus Films
20Sea Rex: Journey To A Prehistoric World$19,121--9--$2,125$4,493,845873D Entertainment
21The Women on the 6th Floor$19,05559%114$1,732$490,73314Strand Releasing
22Midnight in Paris$15,335-13%21-2$730$56,407,28334Sony Pictures Classics
23Martha Marcy May Marlene$13,77760%151$918$2,932,82512Fox Searchlight
24Take Shelter$11,20124%211$533$1,690,80715Sony Pictures Classics
25Once Upon a Time in Anatolia$10,652--1--$10,652$14,0081Cinema Guild
26Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey$9,23380%92$1,026$262,41612Submarine Deluxe
27Like Crazy$7,438-22%15-15$496$3,388,21011Paramount Vantage
28The Conquest$5,805--6--$968$167,9419Music Box Films
29Young Goethe In Love$5,587195%72$798$109,16410Music Box Films
30Mozart's Sister$4,768-35%6-3$795$696,77721Music Box Films
31My Reincarnation$4,74856%30$1,583$62,99611Long Shot Factory
32The Lion King 3D$4,271-5%70$610$94,240,63517Disney
33Inni$4,163741%42$1,041$122,01011Cinema Purgatorio
34Outrage$3,740305%76$534$35,3366Magnolia / Magnet
35El Bulli: Cooking in Progress$3,732--1--$3,732$206,57224Alive Mind Cinema
36The Whale$3,631125%30$1,210$65,12118Paladin
37The Guard$3,31629%117$301$5,341,47124Sony Pictures Classics
38Roadie (2010)$2,661--1--$2,661$2,6611Magnolia Pictures
39Paul Goodman Changed My Life$2,497341%10$2,497$29,48812Zeitgeist Films
40Garbo: The Spy$2,334-14%20$1,167$24,5678First Run Features
41Eames: The Architect and the Painter$2,045-14%3-2$682$141,8588First Run Features
42Blackthorn$1,48032%40$370$190,19714Magnolia Pictures
43The Man Nobody Knew$1,423-20%1-1$1,423$172,31116First Run Features
44Hell and Back Again$1,235--2--$618$35,87214Docurama Films
45Tomboy (2011)$1,235--1--$1,235$97,3948Dada Films
46The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu$1,171--1--$1,171$27,55618The Film Desk
47Tyrannosaur$1,122--1--$1,122$17,2198Strand Releasing
48Elite Squad: The Enemy Within$943-34%31$314$89,4939Variance Films
49Jane's Journey$73735%10$737$24,48317First Run Features
50Rid of Me$702-42%10$702$10,3738Submarine Entertainment
51Crazy Wisdom$636--1--$636$44,3787Alive Mind Cinema
52Khodorkovsky$564--1--$564$28,2826Kino Lorber
53Amigo$46211%20$231$181,35621Variance Films
54Granito: How to Nail a Dictator$352--1--$352$37,79017International Film Circuit