December 31, 2013 by Vinnie Leduc
After opening with the fourth-highest December debut ever and then defending its crown last week, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug barely came out with the back-to-back-to-back win at the domestic box office over the weekend against a very crowded set of holdovers and Christmas Day challengers. The second installment of his Lord of the Rings prequel trilogy, Peter Jackson’s 3D fantasy sequel became the third movie of the year to three-peat stateside, joining Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Gravity.
Disney’s hit 3D computer-animated musical Frozen, which scored the second-highest sixth-weekend gross ever behind Avatar, nearly became possibly the first movie ever to spoil two separate three-peat bids as it moved up a spot. Earlier this month, it had cooled off The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and over the weekend it nearly did the same to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Instead, Frozen settled for a very close second place as it also became Disney’s second highest grossing movie ever in North America behind The Lion King.
Although Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues dropped a spot to third place in its sophomore weekend, the ubiquitous marketing of Ron Burgundy fueled the Will Ferrell comedy sequel, an honorable mention for one of our most anticipated movies of the year, ahead of another holdover, awards contender American Hustle in fourth place, and the rest of the Christmas Day major releases.
The only one of those new openings that managed to squeeze into the top five was Martin Scorsese’s provocative true story The Wolf of Wall Street, the fifth collaboration between the acclaimed director and Leonardo DiCaprio. Ben Stiller’s comedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opened at seventh place behind holdover Saving Mr. Banks, a Disney historical flick. Bombing at ninth place was long-delayed Keanu Reeves 3D action-adventure 47 Ronin, which has made $20 million so far against a reported budget of $175-200 million. Flopping into eleventh place was Stallone vs. De Niro boxing comedy Grudge Match, and underwhelming at fourteenth place was Justin Bieber documentary Believe.
Overall the 2013 domestic box office is set for a record year of $10.9 billion, beating last year’s total of $10.8 billion. The highest grossing movies of the year in North America were Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (which may ultimately surpass Tony Stark in a few weeks), Despicable Me 2, Man of Steel, and Monsters University.
Here are the numbers for the top five over the final traditional three-day weekend of 2013 via BOM:
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug — Weekend Gross: $29.0 million — Total Gross: $189.5 million (#1 last week)
- Frozen — Weekend Gross: $28.6 million — Total Gross: $248.1 million (#3 last week)
- Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues — Weekend Gross: $20.2 million — Total Gross: $83.7 million (#2 last week)
- American Hustle — Weekend Gross: $19.6 million — Total Gross: $60.0 million (#4 last week)
- The Wolf of Wall Street — Weekend Gross: $18.5 million — Total Gross: $34.3 million (new)