December 16, 2013 by Vinnie Leduc
A couple months ago, Gravity took down the October opening record on its way to become just the second movie of 2013 to three-peat at the domestic box office. Last month, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, an honorable mention for one of our most anticipated movies of the year, torched the November opening record and then roasted the Thanksgiving record the following week. Over the weekend, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug aimed to break the December debut record, which its predecessor did less than a year ago, but the prequel trilogy sequel came up a little over $10 million short of An Unexpected Journey‘s $85 million opening.
The Desolation of Smaug‘s $74 million debut will go down as the fourth-highest December debut of all time, only trailing An Unexpected Journey, I Am Legend, and Avatar. The second installment of The Hobbit trilogy dethroned Disney’s hit 3D computer-animated musical Frozen, the reigning champ that had spoiled Catching Fire‘s bid to three-peat the previous weekend and settled for the runner-up spot this time around. The Hunger Games sequel dropped to fourth place in its fourth weekend, a little behind newcomer Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, whose third-place opening of $16 million was the lowest ever for a Madea movie. Rounding out the top five was Thor: The Dark World in its sixth weekend; the superhero sequel is on the cusp of crossing the $200 million mark stateside.
The upcoming pre-Christmas weekend gets much more crowded with the expansions of Oscar buzzy films American Hustle, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Saving Mr. Banks. It starts early with the Wednesday release of another honorable mention for one of our most anticipated movies of the year, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and also includes the wide release of 3D family flick Walking With Dinosaurs.
Here are the numbers for the top five over the weekend via BOM:
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug — Weekend Gross: $73.6 million — Total Gross: $73.6 million (new)
- Frozen — Weekend Gross: $22.6 million — Total Gross: $164.8 million (#1 last week)
- Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas — Weekend Gross: $16.0 million — Total Gross: $16.0 million (new)
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — Weekend Gross: $13.7 million — Total Gross: $357.5 million (#2 last week)
- Thor: The Dark World — Weekend Gross: $2.8 million — Total Gross: $198.2 million (#4 last week)