January 2, 2013



(Almost) everything shot up at the boxoffice on New Year’s Day, but one zoomed more than the rest:  DJANGO UNCHAINED (Weinstein/Sony) challenged THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (Warners/MGM) for the daily lead–falling short by only $227K–and rose a mighty 79% from Monday to $9.2M, for a total to date of $77.8M.  That bodes well for its continued strength over the next several weeks, especially if the Academy sees fit to bless it with major Oscar nominations.  As for Hobbit, it climbed 37% for the day to $9.5M and a US total of $238M.  We’ll know this coming weekend if it has enough gas left in the tank for a run at $300M.

LES MISERABLES (Universal) fell back to 3rd place on the holiday, with a relatively minimal increase of 22% and $80.6M so far.  It could slip behind Django by this weekend, although it’s still doing very well for a movie that only cost a reported $65M to produce.

The surprise of the day was PARENTAL GUIDANCE (20th), the only movie on the board to make less on New Year’s Day (by 4%) than it did the day before, earning $4.5M.  Is it too much to hope that its awfulness is catching up to it?  It’s already made $38.5M, substantial for a picture with a reported $25M budget.

JACK REACHER (Paramount) continued to do moderate business, up 26% to $4.3M and a $51.8M total.  A $75-80M end result is unlikely to keep it going as a franchise.  THIS IS 40 (Universal) had a nice New Year’s bump of 45% to $3.7M (a $42.6M total), although it’s another underperformer.  THE GUILT TRIP (Paramount) had only a 14% increase to $2.1M, for a $24.8M total that won’t come close to recouping its cost.

Among the longer running holdovers, LINCOLN (Disney/DreamWorks/20th) cooled down a bit with a 6% rise for $2.5M and a still mighty $136.7M total.  RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) increased 30% to $1.6M, but its $92.9M total is so low relative to cost that published reports indicate DWA may lose almost $100M on it.  LIFE OF PI (20th) went up 33% to $1.3M and $87M to date.  SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein) continues to do modestly successful business, up 20% to $1.4M and a $29.8M as it awaits what it hopes will be an Oscar nominations bonanza.

Sony has to be pleased that ZERO DARK THIRTY had a strong 58% increase for the day, for a $23K per-theatre average in 5.  THE IMPOSSIBLE (Summit/Lionsgate) also grew 53%, but is still struggling with a $4700 average at 15.  PROMISED LAND (Focus/Universal) is worse off, up 30% for a $2700 average at 25.  On the other hand, it’s a blockbuster compared to NOT FADE AWAY (Paramount Vantage), up 15% for a pathetic $1000 average at 19.

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."