January 1, 2013



Movie ticket sales were down significantly on December 31, as audiences found other things to do with their New Year’s Eves, but the results still gave Les Miserables a symbolic turnaround, putting it back in 2d place after a weekend behind Django Unchained.  Business should zoom today for the holiday finale, before settling into mundane levels for most of January.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (Warners/MGM) was in front once again on Monday, down 29% from Sunday for $7M and a total thus far of $228.7M (plus close to a half-billion overseas).  The movie’s boxoffice question is whether its legs will be long enough to carry it to $300M, or more hobbit-like due to its expected minimal showing (unlike its Lord of the Rings forebears) at the Oscars.

LES MISERABLES (Universal) fell a similar 30% to $6.3M, but that was enough to put it back in 2d place with a total to date of $73M.  Les Miz is expected to have a more robust Oscar season, and will be trying to exceed $150M.

DJANGO UNCHAINED (Weinstein/Sony) took a 43% plunge on Monday to $5.2M and a total of $68.6M.  Its longterm prospects are somewhat unclear, although it, too, will be targeting $150M.

Family audiences continued to flail for something to see, giving PARENTAL GUIDANCE (20th) the day’s only increase, up 13% to $4.7M.  (Look for studios not to make the same mistake next Christmas season, handing the entire family audience to one studio.)  That puts it at $34M, and puts $70M in sight.

Other declines included 21% for JACK REACHER (Paramount), for $3.4M and a $47.7M total, 30% for THIS IS 40 (Universal) for $2.6M and $40M, and 16% for THE GUILT TRIP (Paramount) for $1.8M and $22.8M.

Limited releases weren’t immune either, as SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein) dropped 10% and THE IMPOSSIBLE (Summit/Lionsgate) fell 24%.


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."