Weekend Box Office: THE HOBBIT 3 Dominated Post Christmas Too

Update: The Interview scored more than $15M in online rentals and sales between Wednesday, when it was released, and Saturday. Well played Sony.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies stayed on the top of the box office again with $41.4M over Christmas weekend, despite the fact that four new movies entered wide release as well as several high profile films opened or widen in their limited runs.

The final installment in Peter Jackson‘s trilogy earned $168.5M since winning the box office last weekend.

A pair of new releases, Universal’s  historical drama Unbroken and Disney’s musical Into the Woods gave Hollywood something to be merry about over Christmas holiday. The real life story of Louis Lamperini was Christmas day victor, but fell to second, while the musical adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s fairy tale mash-up did better in preview but fell to third, both of them beating The Hobbit. I think that a WWII-themed epic success is not because Angelina Jolie is the director. The production of the film was handled by iconic award winning people and the story is the star of the movie that scored 51% on Rotten Tomatoes with its “A-” CinemaScore. A star-heavy musical received not so strong “B” CinemaScore but achieved a highly successful marketing campaign to appeal to children and families.

Two family-friendly features, Night at the Museum 3 and Annie rounded out the top five.

weekend box office top 10

The other two new Christmas offerings playing nationwide didn’t fare as well. Mark Wahlberg’s The Gambler was dwarfed by the competition, earning $9.3 million for the weekend, but collected $14 million-plus in its first four day, which is in line with expectations. The Tim Burton-directed biopic Big Eyes opened to a weak $4.4 million over the holiday weekend, however. Amy Adams/Christoph Waltz‘s art-fraud dramedy marks the worst nationwide opening of Burton’s career.

In limited release, the Clint Eastwood directed war drama American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper, opened to a very strong $850,000 at only four theaters. Eastwood’s awards contender coveted A+ CinemaScore. Paramount’s Selma, starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., debuted with a less impressive but still solid $912,000 in nineteen venues.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot The Interview, an R-rated comedy that suffered a terrorist threat but turned out to be more of a curiosity than a phenomenon, grossing a modest $2.8 million between Thursday and Sunday.

Update: It looks to me like this whole The Interview thing is a hoax. I’m not so sure that yet-another-below-average comedy would have easily made money generated in online rentals and sales if it was released in theaters as originally intended. Still, Sony is far from breaking since its top online film ever cost around $75 million to make and to market.

The lone new release next weekend is The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death, the sequel to the 2012 British horror film that starred Harry Potter‘s Daniel Radcliffe and Ciaran Hinds.