Oh the weather outside is… Frightful? Weather? You don’t even want to talk about it? Well, even so, film audiences managed to trudge their way out to cinemas with the overall box office up by roughly 4% since last year. Similarly, there was a bit of box office deja vu with “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” falling two spots in its fourth weekend (after being number one for three weeks), as the very same thing happened last year with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Whereas ‘Unexpected Journey’ fell to “Texas Chainsaw 3D” and “Django Unchained,” ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ was struck down by not only another horror sequel (“Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones”) but also by a song-laced fairytale: six-week holdover “Frozen.”
Involving an icy queen who, in the words of Garbo, “vants to be alone,” and a snowman with daydreams of warm, summer weather, “Frozen” toppled the competition with $20.7 million, adding to a whopping domestic total of $297.8 million and a near eye-popping worldwide total of $639.9 million. After weeks of being scared off by ‘Smaug,’ the Disney hit has finally taken back its spot at the top of the mountain, however icy and slippery. With the normally dismal January box office, do you think it could go the distance to a worldwide $900 million or will the world succumb to the the charms of “Her” in wide release? (Additional, somewhat-related tidbit: here’s a fun (NSFW) take on Idina Menzel‘s “Let It Go.”)
In second, “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” out-spooked ‘Smaug’ with $18.2 million, already making back its $5 million production budget threefold. Even so, this fifth ‘Paranormal Activity’ installment marks the worst debut of all of the sequels. As horror counter-programming goes, it won’t have much competition until “Devil’s Due” in two weeks, so it may stick around somewhere in the top ten longer than you’d expect, but with these first weekend numbers as an indicator, won’t have too flashy of a run.
The serpent slid the slippery slope… the dragon dredged down… the hobbit hobbled unhearthily to… Yeah, ‘The Desolation of Smaug,” the second installment in ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy, fell two spots in its fourth weekend with $16.3 million. Even with the dip, the film has made over $750 million worldwide and may still be on track for $1 billion, especially as it hasn’t yet hit China or Japan.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustle” continued to be neck-and-neck with ‘Wolf’ outconning ‘Hustle’ for fourth place, making $13.4 million for its second weekend in wide release. ‘Hustle’ on the other hand dropped down a spot to fifth and made $13.6 million. Trailing behind, but with comparably funky hairstyles and period three-piece suits, “Anchorman 2” reeled in not only the hearts of shark enthusiasts (Doby!!) but also $11.1 million, crossing the domestic $100 million mark with a running total of $109.2 million. Then we get into some family fare involving dreams and cutthroat behavior (though those qualities are not mutually exclusive) with “Saving Mr. Banks” ($9.1 million), “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” ($8.2 million) and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” ($7.4 million). More surprisingly, the American public seems to respond positively to tweet-focused ad campaigns (and we’re not talking about that A.O. Scott tweet), as “Grudge Match” punched its way up onto the leaderboard (after missing it last week) with $5.4 million.
1. Frozen (Buena Vista) – $20,722,000 ($297,838,000)
2. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Paramount) – $18,200,000
3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Bros.) – $16,250,000 ($229,634,000)
4. The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount) – $13,400,000 ($63,295,000)
5. American Hustle (Sony) – $13,200,000 ($88,700,000)
6. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount) – $11,100,000 ($109,180,000)
7. Saving Mr. Banks (Buena Vista) – $9,057,000 ($59,320,000)
8. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Fox) – $8,200,000 ($45,669,000)
9. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate) – $7,400,000 ($407,488,000)
10. Grudge Match (Warner Bros.) – $5,410,000 ($24,920,000)