January 2, 2014

New Year’s Box Office: Big Day At the Multiplex; “Wolf” Zooms


Everything went up at the New Year’s Day box office (bringing to an end the holiday bounty), but to wildly varying degrees.  Business should fall today and rise tomorrow and Saturday, but not to a point equal to New Year’s, with weekend totals for holdovers a bit more than double their numbers from yesterday.

FROZEN (Disney) was once again at the top, with $8.7M, but that was a relatively modest 23% increase from Tuesday, as THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (Warners/MGM) rose 41% to $7.8M.  Frozen is now at $271.8M in the US, and should reach $300M next week, if not by Sunday.  Smaug continues to run 15-20% behind last year’s An Unexpected Journey and is now at $209.3M ($33.2M behind Journey).

The big New Year’s winner was THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (Paramount/Red Granite), which jumped 72% to $5.7M and 3d place for the day, excellent news for a film that has a long way to go till it hits profit.  Right behind it was AMERICAN HUSTLE (Sony) at $5.4M, with $73M already and well on its way to pass $100M.  Both pulled ahead of ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES (Paramount), despite that movie’s 62% Wednesday increase.  It had dropped so much previously that it was still only at $4.9M on the holiday, although its total $95.9M is ahead of them (for now).

SAVING MR BANKS (Disney), which had gone up a big 36% on Tuesday, increased just 6% more on Wednesday to $4.2M, with a total so far of $48.3M.  THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (20th) had a 21% New Year’s bump to $4.1M, but it’s only earned $35.6M to date at a much higher cost.

The lower end of the box office was up too, with a 38% increase for GRUDGE MATCH (Warners) to $2.2M ($18.5M total so far), a 21% rise for WALKING WITH DINOSAURS (20th) to $2M ($26.4M total), and even a 50% bump for BELIEVE (Open Road), to a still-pathetic $300K ($5.2M total).

In limited release, HER (Warners) had a great day, up a giant 87% to $$271K at 47 theatres.  It widens nationally on January 10.


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."