December 27, 2013



UPDATE:  There were no major changes in final Thursday box office figures.  FROZEN was even higher than the initial estimate at $9.1M, and ANCHORMAN 2 even steadier, down just 9% from Wednesday to $7.4M.  THE WOLF OF WALL STREET was slighty up at $6.6M, and so was AMERICAN HUSTLE at $6.4M.  THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY was down to $4.8M (a 39% drop from opening day on Wednesday), while SAVING MR. BANKS edged up to $4.7M. 

Apart from the day’s leaders, movies that benefited from the family audience included THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (Lionsgate), up 20% to $3M and WALKING WITH DINOSAURS (20th), up 24% to $2.1M.

In limited release, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (CBS) dropped 18% to $370K at 160 theatres, HER (Warners) fell 36% to $170K at 47, and LONE SURVIVOR (Universal) was down 29% to $26K at 2.  (Note:  The Weinstein Company hasn’t reported Thursday numbers for PHILOMENA or MANDELA: LONG WALK TO PEACE, and ditto for Sony Pictures Classics hasn’t reported Thursday numbers on THE PAST and THE INVISIBLE WOMAN.)  UPDATED UPDATE:  Weinstein Company has now reported results on its two releases, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM (down 40%–from opening day in all but 4 of its theatres–to $750K in 975 theatres) and PHILOMENA (up 14% to $475K at 727).   

The final arrivals of 2013 show up today in limited release:  awards hopefuls AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (Weinstein) and LABOR DAY (Paramount), as well as THE SELFISH GIANT (IFC).  All movies should be up moderately today, since this year Dec. 27 falls on a Friday. 


Preliminary numbers at Variety show the December 26 box office mostly behaving in line with a normal midweek day after Christmas, as newcomers fell and holdovers were stable or better.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (Warners/MGM) again led the way, increasing by more than 10% from Wednesday to $10.5M.  That’s better than the Dec. 26 performance of last year’s An Unexpected Journey, which edged up only 1% on the same day, although Journey ($11.4M) was still making more per day than Smaug is.

With holiday festivities out of the way, parents needed entertainment for the kids home from school, and FROZEN (Disney) was the attraction of choice, up 36% from Wednesday to a robust $8.8M.  It’s at $219M already, with $250M possible by New Year’s, and a real chance of moving past Pixar’s Monsters University as the biggest animated movie of 2013.  ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES (Paramount) fell about 15% from Wednesday, a typical live-action holdover drop, to $7M, with $63M so far and the chance of nearing $100M by 2014’s start.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (Paramount/Red Granite) took a 30% hit to $6.4M–in the same neighborhood as the Dec. 26 drops for last year’s Les Miserables and Django Unchained on their second days.  That put Wolf almost neck-and-neck with the thematically similar AMERICAN HUSTLE (Sony), down 20% for the day to $6M or so, the difference being that Hustle was on its 7th day of wide release and has already earned $40M, compared to $15M for Wolf.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (20th), which might have been expected to have some family appeal, isn’t showing any signs of that, with a worrisome 37% drop from Wednesday to $5M.  SAVING MR. BANKS (Disney), though, is finding its legs with just a 10% drop to $4.6M.

The curiosity-seekers got their fill of 47 RONIN (Universal) on opening day, and it collapsed by 48% on Thursday to $3.7M–so whatever writedown Universal has already taken on the expensive flop may not be enough.  Also plunging was GRUDGE MATCH (Warners), down 48% to $2.1M and oblivion.  Justin Bieber’s BELIEVE (Open Road) is still doing little business, but it’s holding what audience it has, down just 16% from Wednesday to $1M.

We’ll have updated numbers and additional information on limited releases in the morning.



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."