Box Office Aftermath: ‘Desolation of Smaug’ is the Bigger Deal

The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Teaser White Orc Azog

Rounding out weekend of December 20-22, 2013, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug dominated over the competition again, leaving the box office battlefield victorious. Box Office Aftermath is an ongoing column dedicated to recapping the weekend’s total ticket sales. Each week, combatants enter the cinematic war zone, bloodthirsty for your cash. But there can only be one true winner. In Box Office Aftermath, we will take a look at the numbers, how previous contenders fared, and provide a brief analysis of the results.

Apparently Ron Burgundy and his news team couldn’t live up to the hype they had been building with all of their wacky hijinks. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ruled the box office again this weekend, taking in another $31.5 million to add to Peter Jackson’s piles of gold. I am really surprised that Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues could not bump out The Hobbit based on its mediocre reviews and weak opening gross. However, The Desolation of Smaug did fall 57 percent in retention, which is just on par with its predecessor, but still behind by over $30 million for its second weekend.

Anchorman 2 did come in second with $26.77 million. The Channel 4 news team just didn’t have what it takes to squash those dwarves. The R-rating could have definitely hurt this film’s chances since Anchorman is rated PG-13. Teens could have paid money to “see” The Hobbit and sneaked in to see Anchorman 2. The Adam McKay sequel couldn’t even muster more than the first film, which took in $28.4 million for its debut.

Frozen fell to third, but only dropped 15 percent, cashing in another $19.64 million to add to its almost $200 million dollar total domestic gross. It is now ahead of Wreck-It Ralph ($189.4 million) and catching up to Tangled ($200.8 million), which shouldn’t be a problem with the holidays coming up.

Expanding to a wide release in 2,507 theaters this weekend was David O. Russell’s FBI investigation comedy, American Hustle starring Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, and Amy Adams. For a small production film like this, it took in a good haul of $19.1 million. Comparatively, Russell’s The Fighter opened up with $12.1 million in 2010; and when Silver Linings Playbook eventually opened in over 2,500 theaters, after being in limited release fro two and a half months, it saw $10.7 million surge in revenue. David O. Russell is definitely here to stay now.

Closing out the top five was Saving Mr. Banks, which also opened wider to 2,110 theaters, grossing a total of $9.34 million. Definitely not the right kind of money Disney could be hoping for with a story about Mary Poppins and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney himself. I think there was just not enough buzz for the film and audiences were more focused on Anchorman 2.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire slipped out of the top five for the first time in its five week run. In sixth place, the young adult sequel earned itself $8.76 million, bringing it’s total domestic gross to $375 million. Catching Fire is still behind The Hunger Games by over $30 million still and may just barely catch up by the time it leaves theaters.

In it’s dreadful second weekend, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas fell from third to seventh raking in only $8.38 million. I’m actually shocked the movie only dropped 45 percent in retention. A Madea Christmas is still one of the worst performing Tyler Perry films of all time, Peeples being the worst. Out of the 15 films Perry has his name on A Madea Christmas is living it up in 14, just behind Daddy’s Little Girls. If the film can hold out for another weekend with these kinds of numbers it should climb the ranks fairly quickly.

Thor: The Dark World also slipped out of the top five this weekend for the first time. Bringing home $1.34 million, it is now the first non-Iron Man, non-Avengers Marvel film to cross the $200 million mark. Not bad for a intergalactic space hero. This is definitely a huge success for Marvel Studios and Disney that needs to build these individual heroes up.

(Click the image below to enlarge the chart. All figures are domestic box office.)

Weekend Box Office Results 2013 Deember 22

Until the next weekend bout, this has been your Box Office Aftermath.

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Source: Box Office Mojo

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