by Matt Marshall
Smaug managed to survive Ron Burgundy and the Channel 4 news team to claim the top spot at the weekend box office once again. In its second weekend, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug topped the charts with an estimated $31.5 million haul. Though up to nearly $128 million, Smaug trails last year’s An Unexpected Journey by 15%.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues debuted in second place with a $26.8 million opening. The Will Ferrell sequel opened on Wednesday for a five-day total of $40 million. Frozen dipped one spot to third grossing another $19.6 million. The animated Disney film is expected to cross $200 million early this week.
Expanding into wide release, American Hustle and Saving Mr. Banks rounded out the Top 5. Hustle jumped from 15th place to fourth pulling in $19.1 million. Saving Mr. Banks followed as well climbing from 18th to fifth with a $9.3 million weekend.
Note: These #’s are based on Sunday’s projections and can change with Monday’s actual #’s.
#1 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (1)
$31.5 million / $127.6 million total
The latest chapter of The Hobbit might be the top film once again, but the film continues to fly low. Trailing behind all four previous movies, the chances of Smaug hitting $300 million are near impossible. That is a first for the franchise with even An Unexpected Journey squeaking by a year ago. A third week atop the box office is probable, but $200 million by New Year’s Day is not guaranteed.
#2 – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (NR)
$26.8 million / $40.0 million total
Ron Burgundy could’ve slayed Smaug this weekend if it had opened Friday rather than Wednesday. Burning off $13.2 million in its first two days, Anchorman settled for second place with $26.8 million. The Will Ferrell sequel even opened weaker than its 2004 predecessor’s $28.4 million debut. Given nine years of ticket inflation and a polar opposite release date from July 2004, it’s difficult to compare the two openings.
#3 – Frozen (2)
$19.6 million / $192.0 million total
Once again, Disney’s Frozen is the talk of the weekend for sure. Dipping a slim 13% in its fifth weekend, Frozen is on course for breaking $200 million on Christmas Eve. That also means Frozen will top 2010’s Tangled, becoming the highest-grossing animated film for Disney (outside of Pixar) since 1994. Cracking $250 million should follow shortly as well.
#4 – American Hustle (15)
$19.1 million / $20.2 million total
David O. Russell’s last two films, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook have not only been critical successes but financial ones too. American Hustle is no exception. Hustle garnered O. Russell his largest wide opening to date. Hustle’s been floating in a handful of theaters for a week, pulling in little over $1 million. Now out in the open and a busy week for theaters ahead, American Hustle is set for a stellar run.
#5 – Saving Mr. Banks (18)
$9.3 million / $9.9 million total
Critics have been raving about Saving Mr. Banks, however positive word-of-mouth has yet to translate into box office success. $9.3 million isn’t a bad start, but it’s not a home run for Disney either. Banks is having no problem attracting the older crowd. However, young audiences unfamiliar with Mary Poppins might not be interested in learning about the back story.
Opening Next Week: 47 Ronin (Wednesday), The Wolf of Wall Street (Wednesday), Believe (Wednesday), Grudge Match (Wednesday), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Wednesday), Lone Survivor (expanding), Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (expanding)
Source: Box Office Mojo
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matt Marshall is a YouTube movie reviewer who hosts MNMreviews. He has a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and resides in Rochester, NY.