For the second consecutive weekend, ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ overturned a slight Friday deficit to win the North American box office. It finished the three days on a strong $29.8m from a market high 3,928 theatres in line with expectations for a tiny 2% week-on-week drop. IMAX contributed 17% towards the film’s weekend takings.
There was a more comprehensive win for the Middle Earth sequel over the five day extended Christmas period. The film grossed an exceptional $49.3m over the session, almost $6m clear of its nearest rival, and celebrated a Christmas Day win and a 13% increase on Boxing Day. Its domestic tally now stands at $190.3m.
But it was Disney’s ‘Frozen’ that grabbed the headlines heading into its sixth week in play. The animation adventure finished the three day session on an outstanding $28.8m from 3,335 theatres and it boasted a jaw dropping 47% increase from last weekend. The extended Christmas period was equally impressive with the film clocking up $43.7m over the five days, including a 43% Boxing Day hike.
Together ‘The Hobbit 2’ and ‘Frozen’ accounted for 34.2% of the weekend’s overall takings.
‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ claimed the third spot after a close battle with two award contenders, ‘American Hustle’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’. The Ron Burgundy sequel grossed a decent $20.1m from 3,507 theatres over the three days, taking its running total to $83.6m since arriving on December 18.
David O. Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ continued its strong box office performance, taking $19.5m from 2,507 theatres over the three-day session for a $0.5m week-on-week increase. The idiosyncratic comedy opened in the specialist market with a spectacular $115,000 per-site average before going wide last weekend and it has already amassed an eye catching $60m.
Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ finished the weekend $1m behind ‘American Hustle’ from slightly more theatres having been neck and neck on Friday night. Its five-day tally of $34.3m since opening on Christmas Day is fractionally higher than expected after first night audiences awarded the Wall Street drama a ‘C’ CinemaScore. The film’s controversial sexual content almost certainly contributed towards its poor rating.