Box Office: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Stands Taller Than Jack Reacher, This Is 40 and the Rest

    • Share
    • Tweet
    • Share
    • <> Embed
    Goblin King, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    Goblin King, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Warner Bros. Pictures

    There were two races going on at the crowded weekend box office: one involved Oscar hopefuls, like Zero Dark Thirty; the other involved Jack Reacher, This Is 40 and The Guilt Trip, all hoping to standing up to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

    The awards-season candidates got bragging points; The Hobbit got everything else. 

    The Peter Jackson film dominated with an estimated $36.7 million Friday-Sunday that upped its domestic total after two weekends to $150 million.

    Zero Dark Thirty leading Oscar league in controversy

    Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher and Judd Apatow's This Is 40 were about as big—or un-big—as expected. 

    Jack Reacher grossed $15.6 million, a debut for the action film that was only slightly better than that of Cruise's musical dud, last summer's Rock of Ages.

    This Is 40, the quasi-sequel to Knocked Up, came away with $12 million, the smallest-ever debut for an Apatow-directed comedy, and one of the smaller starts from the overall Apatow brand, down there with The Five-Year Engagement.

    Opening-weekend audiences were more enthusiastic about Jack Reacher than This Is 40, grading the Cruise film an A-minus versus This Is 40's B-minus, per the polling firm CinemaScore. 

    Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann talk 40

    Seth Rogen's and Barbra Streisand's The Guilt Trip looked gassed after only five days in theaters. Since opening Wednesday, the road-trip comedy has grossed $7.4 million, including a paltry $5.4 million from the weekend. (For what it's worth, the moviegoers who showed up didn't flat-out hate The Guilt Trip, awarding it a B-minus CinemaScore.)

    Overall, the box office was down from the same holiday weekend last season, when Cruise looked to be back on track with a big expansion for Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows held strong.

    This time out, not even a Disney rerelease could work its magic, as the 3-D version of Monsters, Inc. fizzled, earning only $6.5 million since bowing Wednesday.

    And The Hobbit, though big, and nearing the half-billion mark worldwide, saw ticket sales plunge nearly 60 percent from its debut. Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies all showed stronger legs. 

    Seven big changes in The Hobbit from the book to the screen

    Things were hotter on the art-show circuit, where Kathryn Bigelows debate-starter Zero Dark Thirty averaged a fantastic $82,000 at each of its five theaters. Since opening mid-week, the Best Picture contender has grossed $639,000.

    The French-language film and Best Actress vehicle Amour is at $100,213 after five days in theaters. Its weekend per-screen average was an impressive $23,554.

    On the Road, with Kristen Stewart, scored $43,000 from four screens, while fellow Oscar hopeful The Impossible, with Naomi Watts, grossed $138,750 from 15.

    Here's the complete rundown of the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday domestic estimates as reported by the studios and Exhibitor Relations:

    1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, $36.7 million
    2. Jack Reacher, $15.6 million
    3. This Is 40, $12 million
    4. Rise of the Guardians, $5.9 million
    5. Lincoln, $5.6 million
    6. The Guilt Trip, $5.4 million
    7. Monsters, Inc. 3D, $5 million
    8. Skyfall, $4.7 million
    9. Life of Pi, $3.8 million
    10. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, $2.6 million

    (Originally published on Dec. 23, 2012, at 11:19 a.m. PT.)

    • Share
    • Tweet
    • Share
    • <> Embed

    Totally new releases



    Snooki, Shatner and more celebs to appear on E!'s new digital series: watch!
    Most Read
    Beyonce, Formation Video
    New Pics
    Look of Love