December 19, 2014

THURSDAY BOX OFFICE: “Hobbit” Armies Take Casualties On Day 2


The answer to yesterday’s box office question–would THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES (New Line/MGM/Warners) look more like The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King or Twilight: Eclipse along the course of its 5-day weekend opening–it leaning toward the vampires, which is not good news for Middle-Earth.  On its 2d full day of US release, Armies dropped 59% to $10M, closer to Eclipse‘s 65% fall than to King‘s 51%.  If it continues along this path, it would end up with $70M by Sunday, $35.6M of it over the standard 3-day weekend.  That would be, by a considerable amount, the worst 5-day result of any of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien films.

The 5-day results for the other Tolkien adaptations:

Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring:  $75.1M

Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers:  $102.1M

Lord of the Rings:  Return of the King:  $124.1M

The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey:  $100.2M

The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug:  $86.1M

Armies could try to take comfort in the fact that Fellowship of the Ring made it all the way to $315.5M in the US, but the first movie in a franchise generally has much longer legs than the films that follow.  Desolation of Smaug tripled its initial 5-day box office, and a similar result would give Armies a hypothetical $210M US total.  Of course, the epic may make up all of that and more if it continues the franchise’s sterling record overseas, but it still wouldn’t give US theater owners the end-of-year lift they were hoping to get.

It must be said that this is still very early, and word-of-mouth could pick Armies up over the course of the weekend and the holidays.  The results thus far, though, are less than precious.


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."