As expected, the first weekend of 2015 belonged mainly to holiday holdovers. Like the two Hobbit features before it, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies remained in first place for a third consecutive weekend. Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth finale also crossed the $200 million mark in domestic earnings on Friday, putting it between An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug after 19 days. The weekend’s only major new release, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death, opened in fourth place with a relatively strong $15.1 million.
|1.||The Hobbit 3||$21,910,000||$220.7|
|2.||Into the Woods||$19,066,000||$91.2|
|4.||The Woman in Black 2||$15,145,000||$15.1|
|5.||Night at the Museum 3||$14,450,000||$89.7|
|7.||The Imitation Game||$8,111,000||$30.8|
|8.||Mockingjay – Part 1||$7,700,000||$323.8|
|10.||Big Hero 6||$4,816,000||$211.2|
Full story after the jump.
2015’s inaugural weekend was up 8% over the same frame in 2014 – a propitious sign for a year that promises so much box office bounty (Star Wars, Pixar, The Avengers, etc.). As is true with most post-New Year’s weekends, the majority of the weekend’s $153.7 million box office total was claimed by holiday holdovers. One year ago, the number one film was Disney’s Frozen with $19.7 million – on its seventh weekend in theatres.
Continuing a trend begun on Christmas Day, Into the Woods and Unbroken continued to shadow each other – putting up remarkably close estimates on their sophomore weekends. Disney’s musical added another $19 million to its domestic total in second place while, less than one million behind in third, Unbroken continued to look strong after eleven days. Both films should cross the $100 million mark by this time next week.
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death posted a surprisingly solid opening of just over $15 million. Though not quite on par with the original film, which opened to $20.8 million in early 2012, the horror sequel is nevertheless a success story for Relativity Media considering it was originally projected to open in the $13 million range. If topping expectations by $2 million doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment, consider that Relativity acquired the film for a reported one million. Considering the sequel’s complete lack of Daniel Radcliffe and the stiff holiday competition, topping $15 million is a definite win for Angel of Death.
Also listed firmly on the positive side of this weekend’s balance sheet are two would-be Oscar contenders. Despite screening in fewer than 800 locations, The Imitation Game made its second appearance in the domestic top ten this weekend. The Alan Turing biopic was up by more than 2% over and claimed the highest per-theatre average among this weekend’s top ten with an estimated $10,757. Though impressive, The Imitation Game’s average doesn’t come close to what American Sniper realized from just four locations this weekend. The Clint Eastwood directed-drama already scored one of the best limited releases of the year with $240,000 earned on Christmas Day. American Sniper earned $640,000 this weekend, or $160,000 for each of its four venues. After eleven days the drama has earned almost $2.2 million – just a bit less than The Interview took in last weekend from 331 venues.
Speaking of Sony’s controversial comedy, The Interview expanded its theatrical run to 581 locations this weekend but was off by nearly 40 percent. The film did earn over $15 million in its first weekend available through VOD services so a drop in theatrical demand was expected.
With 2014 now behind us, here’s a look at the year’s top ten films as of January fourth. With Mockingjay – Part 1 still playing in over 2,500 locations, the penultimate chapter in The Hunger Games franchise should overtake Guardians of the Galaxy within the next ten days or so. The final positon for The Hobbit 3 also remains to be determined, along with Big Hero 6, which was back in the top ten this weekend in its tenth week in theatres.
Next weekend, Liam Neeson should knock Bilbo off his throne with Taken 3. The first two films in the Fox franchise earned over $600 million worldwide, not adjusted for inflation. With the weekend pretty much to itself, the return of Bryan Mills is expected to claim close to $30 million in domestic earnings. As usual, we’ll let you know how things play out.
|1.||Guardians of the Galaxy||$332,900,000||$772.6|
|2.||Mockingjay – Part 1*||$324,100,000||$682.2|
|3.||Captain America: The Winter Soldier||$259,766,000||$714|
|4.||The LEGO Movie||$257,760,000||$468|
|5.||Transformers: Age of Extinction||$245,439,000||$1.08 bill.|
|7.||X-Men: Days of Future Past||$233,921,000||$746|
|8.||The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies*||$220,767,000||$678.5|
|9.||Big Hero 6*||$211,268,000||$378.6|
|10.||Dawn of the Planet of the Apes||$208,545,000||$708.3|
*still in wide release (current domestic totals include this weekend’s estimates)