Friday Box Office: THE HOBBIT 3 Holds in First; THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 in Second with $7.7 Million

     January 3, 2015

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With only one new title in theatres, the domestic box office will continue to be dominated by holdover titles this weekend, most notably The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.  The finale to Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy took in an estimated $8.3 million yesterday and is now poised to capture first place for a third straight weekend.  That equals the records of the first two Hobbit films though, after 17 days, Five Armies has now earned more in its North American run than The Desolation of Smaug did at the same point last year.  The lone new release entering 2015’s inaugural frame was The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death.  The sequel to CBS Film’s 2012 horror sleeper earned an estimated $7.7 million from 2,602 locations on Friday, including $1.5 million from Thursday previews.

Full story and Friday’s top five films after the jump.

phoebe-fox-the-woman-in-black-2-angel-of-deathEver since The Devil Inside opened to $33.7 million at the start of 2012, releasing a horror movie on the first weekend of the new year has become a box office tradition.  Last year’s Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones brought in $18.3 million – an all-time low for the famously profitable franchise.

The original The Woman in Black did not debut until February and brought in $20.8 million in its first three days.  The film, which starred a fresh-from-Hogwarts Daniel Radcliffe, went on to earn $54.3 million in North America and $127.7 million worldwide.  That was a record for CBS Films at the time, and pretty damn good for a film budgeted at only $15 million.

Unfortunately, The Woman in Black 2 is not expected to get close to its predecessor’s level.  It’s been almost three years since the original film’s release and, lacking Radcliffe or any other notable names in the cast, the sequel (distributed by Relativity Media this time around) is not expected to climb much higher than $16 million.  To be clear, that’s higher than originally projected – and it’s significantly higher than the $10.6 million Relativity’s last post-New Year’s debut, Season of the Witch, claimed in 2011.

Check back tomorrow for full box office details.

 Title Friday Total
1.  The Hobbit 3 $8,375,000 $207.2
2.  The Woman in Black 2 $7,750,000 $7.7
3.  Into the Woods $7,457,000 $79.6
4.  Unbroken $7,400,000 $76.8
5.  Night at the Museum 3 $5,925,000 $81.2

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