Box Office Aftermath: Christmas Weekend is Won by Elves and Dwarves; 2013 in Review

The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Teaser Richard Armitage

Rounding out Christmas weekend, December 25-29, 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.

In an all out war for the box office this holiday season, five new wide release combatants entered the battlefield only to fall short by pre-existing titans. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug managed to hold on to its top position for the third weekend in a row, an accomplishment only Gravity has also been able to claim. Garnering an estimated $29.85 million, the Middle Earthians are still about $30 million shy behind An Unexpected Journey’s third weekend numbers. But so far, The Desolation of Smaug has been able to capture $619 million worldwide. Not bad.

Trailing behind Warner Bros. was Disney with Frozen. A touchy feely family movie for all ages to enjoy over Christmas. The animated feature earned an estimated $28.84 million over the weekend, bringing its total domestic gross far beyond the reaches of Wreck-It Ralph ($189 million) and Tangled ($200 million). It is now the highest grossing Walt Disney Animation Studios film of the past six years.

Ron Burgundy is having a hard time finding an audience as he falls into third. Anchorman 2 did not fall hard, with only a 24.7 percent drop in viewership in its second weekend, the comedy raked in an estimated $20.15 million. In just a matter of 12 days, Anchorman 2 has just about caught up with its predecessor’s overall haul of $85 million from 2004.

American Hustle stayed the course in fourth with an estimated $19.55 million. The star-studded drama saw a small increase in attendance this weekend. As awards season moves forward, we should expect to see a lot of these nominated pictures to gain more butts in seats.

And speaking of awards season, one of the new releases were able to break the top five this weekend, The Wolf of Wall Street. The Martin Scorsese flick took in an estimated $18.51 million, which isn’t a great start, but we can let this one marinate for a while once Oscar buzz starts pouring in. Over the course of its five day opening weekend, it earned $34.3 million.

Also opening this weekend was The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I thought this would have debuted higher due to its positive nature, beautiful cinematography, and Ben Stiller. In fact, this new adaptation came in at seventh place, grossing an estimated $13 million. Over the course of the five day holiday weekend it earned $25.59 million.

With as much trouble as it had going into production and into theaters, 47 Ronin will probably not find as hard of time leaving. Carl Rinsch’s debut film took home $20.57 million within its five day release. With a reported budget of $200 million, this may be one of the biggest bombs of the year.

Grudge Match also opened this weekend in eleventh. And with as much positive audience feedback it received, the film only earned $13.43 million over the five day weekend. It would appear that moviegoers may be getting sick and tired of seeing old actors trying to relive their glory days.

And finally, it would look like there are not too many true Beliebers out there as Justin Bieber’s Believe walked away with $4.27 million in the five days it has been out. Never Say Never opened two years ago in February to a good $29 million opening weekend debut, and this just proves the stars staying power in cinema. It looked too familiar and I think the tabloids cover enough of what we fans need to know or care about the pop singer.

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

2013 Box Office Results Christmas Weekend

*Note: These are Christmas Weekend Estimates

And there you have it. The last weekend of 2013. It’s been a long year of mediocre blockbusters and stellar indie films, but overall a pretty positive year in film. With Iron Man 3 leading the pack this year, the box office saw a slight increase in domestic ticket sales. 2012 saw $10,837 million earned ticket sales, and 2013 has gone up to $10,873 million. Golf clap.

Walt Disney Studios had five films in the top 20 highest grossing movies of the year (Iron Man 3, Oz The Great and Powerful, Frozen, Monsters University, and Thor: The Dark World), while the studio had one of the biggest blunders of the year, The Lone Ranger – $89 million on a $215 million budget.

Warner Bros. saw six of its films in the top 20 highest grossing films (Man of Steel, Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, We’re The Millers, The Conjuring, and The Great Gatsby). We’re The Millers and The Conjuring both were surprise hits with their small budgets, while Gravity may have been the most positively successful movie critically in the top 20.

And we can’t count out Lionsgate. As many little movies as they come out with each year, they had the second highest grossing film of the year, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – and still in theaters I might add. The film has grossed $391 million so far, and although it might not reach the heights of the first film, it still is doing pretty well for itself.

There are many huge blockbusters crammed into 2014 that will make for an interesting year in the cinemas.

Total Domestic Box Office Results 2013

Top 20 Highest Grossing Films of the year

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

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Source: Box Office Mojo

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