'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.

Daily Domestic Gross Sun, Mar. 17 2002

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Mar. 17 2002LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Ice Age$13,603,090-29%3,316--$4,102$46,311,3901Fox
2Resident Evil$4,102,023-40%2,528--$1,623$17,705,8351Sony / Screen Gems
3Showtime$3,524,567-45%2,917--$1,208$15,011,5921Warner Bros.
4The Time Machine$2,787,413-41%2,95814$942$39,937,3762DreamWorks
5We Were Soldiers$2,095,577-30%3,1430$667$52,423,5193Paramount
6All About the Benjamins$1,361,700-38%1,51914$896$17,682,5012New Line
740 Days and 40 Nights$951,850-49%2,312-87$412$29,813,1443Miramax
8A Beautiful Mind$843,599-48%1,533-260$550$149,209,37311Universal
9John Q.$788,360-55%2,019-363$390$65,193,4805New Line
10Return to Never Land$613,905-43%1,895-603$324$45,180,0015Disney