After sliding to third place on Christmas Day, Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies returned to first place on Friday with an estimated $15.65 million. The third and final installment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy experienced a 19 percent daily increase on Boxing Day and was down a very healthy 5.5 percent from last Friday. The film has now led the daily box office for nine of the past ten days. The Battle of the Five Armies has grossed $142.75 million in ten days and is set to surpass the $150 million mark today. The film is currently running 12 percent ahead of the $127.55 million ten-day take of last year's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and 5 percent behind the $150.04 million ten-day gross of 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. BOXOFFICE currently projects a first place take of $42.5 million this weekend for The Battle of the Five Armies.
Universal's Unbroken continued to impress on Friday with an estimated second place take of $12.3 million. The Angelina Jolie directed war drama was down a sizable, but understandable 21 percent from its strong Christmas Day performance. The film continues to be critic proof, as mixed critical reviews clearly haven't hampered the film out of the gates. Unbroken has grossed a stronger than expected $27.89 million in its first two days of release. That places the film an impressive 11.5 percent ahead of the $25.02 million two-day start of 2012's Django Unchained. BOXOFFICE is projecting a weekend take of $32.3 million for Unbroken, which would bring the film's four-day start to $47.89 million and place the film in a photo finish with Into the Woods for second place over the weekend. Unbroken 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 continued to run neck and neck with Unbroken, as it placed in third with an estimated $12.21 million. The Rob Marshall directed musical featuring Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp was down 19 percent from Thursday. Into the Woods, which is playing in a relatively modest 2,440 locations, continued to post strong per-location numbers with a daily location average of $5,003. That was the day's strongest per-location average among wide releases and strongly suggests that the film will expand into additional locations going forward. Into the Woods has grossed $27.29 million in two days, which places the film 10 percent behind the $30.27 million two-day start of 2012's Les Misérables. BOXOFFICE currently projects Into the Woods to take in $32.2 million over the weekend, which would place the film's four-day start at $47.29 million. Into the Woods received a B rating on CinemaScore.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb placed in fourth with an estimated $7.42 million. The third installment of the Ben Stiller led franchise from Fox continued to build momentum on Friday, as it was up 2 percent from Thursday and up an impressive 31 percent over last Friday. Family films released before Christmas often open to underwhelming numbers before holding up very well between Christmas and New Year's and that is definitely looking to be the case for Secret of the Tomb. The film has grossed $42.15 million in eight days, which places it a slim 0.5 percent behind the $42.36 million eight-day take of 2011's Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (which had yet to see its Christmas bump at that point in its run). BOXOFFICE is estimating a fourth place take of $20.5 million for Secret of the Tomb.
Annie was up one spot from Thursday to round out Friday's top five with an estimated $6.1 million. Sony's musical remake starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz was up a strong 33 percent over Thursday and up 15 percent over last Friday. Yesterday's strong daily hold strongly suggests that the film's Christmas Day performance was deflated a bit from the new direct competition from Into the Woods. Annie has grossed $35.34 million in eight days, which places the film 17 percent behind the pace of the mentioned Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. BOXOFFICE projects a fifth place take of $17.0 million for Annie this weekend.
Also holding up nicely on Friday was The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise claimed sixth place with an estimated $3.55 million. The film was up 32 percent over Christmas Day and up 56 percent over last Friday. Mockingjay - Part 1 surpassed the $300 million domestic milestone on Friday, making it the second release of 2014 to do so (joining Guardians of the Galaxy). BOXOFFICE is projecting Mockingjay - Part 1 to take sixth place this weekend with $10.2 million.
On the heels of a nice start on Christmas Day, Paramount's The Gambler was down two spots and a sharp 31 percent on Friday to place in seventh with an estimated $3.43 million. Yesterday's hold isn't the most promising early sign for the Mark Wahlberg led drama. With that said, The Gambler has grossed a solid $8.43 million in its first two days, especially with its modest price tag in mind. BOXOFFICE is estimating The Gambler to place in seventh over the weekend with $8.7 million, which would give the film a four-day start of $13.7 million. The Gambler received a lackluster C+ rating on CinemaScore.
The Imitation Game placed in eighth on Friday with an estimated $2.89 million from just 747 locations. The awards season hopeful from The Weinstein Company was down a slim 6 percent from Thursday's performance. The Imitation Game has grossed $9.59 million to date and is on course to have a very successful expansion this weekend. BOXOFFICE currently estimates The Imitation Game to gross $8.3 million this weekend.
Other Friday performances for Christmas Day releases included $1.04 million for The Weinstein Company's Big Eyes from 1,307 locations, $0.725 million for Sony's much hyped The Interview from 331 locations, $211,000 for Paramount's Selma from 19 locations and $199,000 for Warner's American Sniper from just 4 locations. Respective two-day starts stand at $2.46 million for Big Eyes, at $1.77 million for The Interview, at $533,000 for Selma and at a promising $440,000 for American Sniper.