December 29, 2013

EARLY SATURDAY BOX OFFICE: “Hobbit” Back On Top, “American Hustle” Strong


Preliminary numbers at Deadline suggest that more adults showed up at the multiplexes for the Saturday of this holiday weekend, boosting some of the less family-centric attractions.  THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (Warners/MGM) appears to have unseated FROZEN (Disney) for the day and possibly the 3-day weekend, with Hobbit up slightly to $10.5M and Frozen down even more slightly to about $10M.  (That number for Smaug looks a little less great when compared to the parallel Saturday for last year’s An Unexpected Journey, $1.1M ahead at $11.6M.)

The adult bump really showed up in the next tier down, where AMERICAN HUSTLE (Sony) was up a strong 13% to $7.2M in its increasingly successful run.  Remarkably, that may tie or even beat ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES (Paramount), which held even on Saturday and is also estimated at around $7.2M.  Both were ahead of THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (Paramount/Red Granite), but Wolf, too, had a good day, up 8% to $6.8M.  Wolf, though, cost more to produce than Hustle and Anchorman together, so its uphill climb is a steeper one.  Also, that $6.8M for Wolf is way behind the $11.4M for the parallel Saturday of Django Unchained, last year’s R-rated Christmas Day epic.

SAVING MR. BANKS (Disney) continued to gather momentum, up another 6% to $5M.  THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (20th) gained a slimmer 3% to $4.8M (with a production cost triple that of Mr. Banks), while the next tier down held 47 RONIN (Universal) and THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (Lionsgate), both up a tad to $3.5M or so–of course, for Catching Fire, that brings its total to about $388M, and for Ronin to a painful $17.5M.  GRUDGE MATCH (Warners) and A MADEA CHRISTMAS (Lionsgate) brought up the rear of the top titles at $2.7M each, both up for the day but at the point where the dollars are meager even if the percentages look OK.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."