‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ came from behind after Friday to retain the No.1 spot at the North American weekend box office. It grossed a solid $31.4m from a market high 3,928 theatres during its second weekend in play after enjoying a Saturday upturn on the back of family audiences. This represents a 57% drop, which corresponds with the original’s fall at the same stage of its run.
Paramount’s ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’, with Will Ferrell returning from the original, grossed $26.7m over the three days for an early running total of $40m since Wednesday’s opening. This falls somewhat short of market forecasts, which always looked over optimistic, but, after factoring in seasonal factors and strong competition, the numbers are better than they may first seem. Moving forward, there is potential for stronger holds during the holiday season but the film’s so-so ‘B’ CinemaScore may not be enough to give it a word of mouth push. It is currently active in 3,507 theatres.
David O. Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ is grabbing the headlines for the second weekend in a row. After a $115,000 per-site average from six theatres in the specialist market upon last weekend’s launch, the dark comedy expanded to 2,507 theatres this Friday and finished the three days on a stunning $19m for a new David O. Russell wide release record.
It was also an exceptional session for Disney’s ‘Frozen’, which finished joint third with ‘American Hustle. The animation adventure is now enjoying the benefits of having received an ‘A+’ CinemaScore from first night audiences as the powerful word of mouth continued to build momentum during its fourth weekend. It manifested itself in the film’s $19m tally being down only 13% week on week.