‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ enjoyed a merry Christmas by topping the domestic box office for a second consecutive weekend, according to industry figures reported Monday by movie tracking site Box Office Mojo. The third installment of ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy grossed $40.9 million in ticket sales from Friday to Sunday, boosting its total to $168 million since opening Dec. 17. ‘The Hobbit’ is the 29th film released in 2014 to earn more than $100 million, which is six fewer than the 35 movies that earned more than $100 million last year.
The Disney adaptation of the musical ‘Into the Woods’ opened at No. 2 with $31 million for a total of $46.1 million since opening Thursday. ‘Unbroken,’ the biographical drama about U.S. Olympian Louis Zamperini, debuted at No. 3 with $30.6 million for a total of $46 million since opening Thursday.
‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ dropped two spots to No. 4 in its second weekend, earning $20.2 million for a total of $54.7 million since opening Dec. 19. The contemporary adaptation of the musical ‘Annie,’ starring Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis and Cameron Diaz, fell two spots to No. 5 in its second weekend, earning $16.5 million for a total of $45.7 million since opening Dec. 19.
The weekend’s No. 6 film, ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1,’ grossed $10 million in its sixth weekend, pushing its total to $306.7 million since opening Nov. 21. ‘Mockingjay’ is the second film released in 2014 to earn more than $300 million at the box office, which is two fewer than the four movies that earned more than $300 million last year. ‘Mockingjay, Part 1’ will also finish well behind last year’s ‘Hunger Games’ sequel, ‘Catching Fire,’ which grossed $424.6 million in 2013.
Other new Christmas day releases failed to find a large audience over the weekend.
Crime thriller ‘The Gambler,’ starring Mark Wahlberg, opened at No. 7 with $9.1 million. The Margaret Keane biographical drama ‘Big Eyes,’ starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz and directed by Tim Burton, debuted at No. 15 with $3 million.
The controversial Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy ‘The Interview’ opened at No. 16 with $1.8 million in less than 340 theaters. The World War II biographical thriller ‘The Imitation Game,’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, expanded to nearly 750 theaters and jumped into the top 10 at No. 8 with $7.9 million. By comparison, ‘The Hobbit’ was shown in more than 3,800 theaters.
FRIDAY’S NATIONWIDE RELEASE
Supernatural horror sequel ‘The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death’ is the only new film scheduled for a nationwide release Friday, Jan. 2. Rated PG-13, ‘The Woman in Black 2′ is the sequel to the 2012 original and is set 40 years after the first haunting at Eel Marsh House. In ‘Angel of Death,’ a group of children arrive at the house during World War II and awaken a ghostly inhabitant. Early reviews are mixed with one critic calling the film ‘a commercially driven sequel but still effective.’
TUESDAY’S DVD/BLU-RAY RELEASES
‘The Equalizer’ and ‘Tusk’ are two of the notable DVD and Blu-ray releases slated for Tuesday, Dec. 30.
‘The Equalizer,’ starring Denzel Washington, is an R-rated action crime thriller based on the TV series of the same name. Washington plays a man with a mysterious past whose attempt to start a new, quiet life is placed on hold after he encounters a desperate young girl under the control of violent Russian gangsters. A respectable 61 percent of reviews are positive on movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, which said the film is ‘is more stylishly violent than meaningful, but with Antoine Fuqua behind the cameras and Denzel Washington dispensing justice, it delivers.’
‘Tusk’ is a quirky R-rated horror comedy written and directed by Kevin Smith. It’s about a podcaster who finds himself the prisoner of an insane retired seaman in Canada, leading his two friends and an ex-cop on a search to find him. Only 39 percent of reviews are positive on Rotten Tomatoes, which said the film is ‘pleasantly ridiculous and charmingly self-deprecating, but that isn’t enough to compensate for its thin, overstretched story.’