Here are your box office returns (new releases bolded):
1. Frozen - $20.7 million
2. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones - $18.2 million
3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - $16.2 million
4. The Wolf of Wall Street - $13.4 million
5. American Hustle - $13.2 million
6. Anchorman: The Legend Continues - $11.1 million
7. Saving Mr. Banks - $9.0 million
8. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - $8.2 million
9. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - $7.4 million
10. Grudge Match - $5.4 million
The Big Stories
For once you may be able to believe that bad weather may have taken some of the heat off the box office. Subzero temperatures may have spooked enough people--maybe that is the reason they're still lining up to see Frozen, figuring if you can't beat the weather, join it. Or at least look at that diva Elsa and blame her for covering everything in ice. Touching herself must give a new meaning to the term frigid, huh? C'mon now, it's January. It's cold, let's have some fun.
Are We the Marked Ones?
Apparently people cannot get enough of this series. It's not like there aren't any good movies to go see. American Hustle is out. Anchorman 2 is really funny. Do yourself a favor and find Spike Jonze's Her. I know it opens wide next week, but no time like the present to see the film that deserves to win Best Picture of the year. OK, fine, you want to go see Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. It's shiny and new and the only film to open this week. Also the first film of 2014 to get a "C-" rating at Cinemascore, so congratulations to that.
How did it do compared to the other sequels in the series?
Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.5 million), Paranormal Activity 2 ($40.6), Paranormal Activity 4 ($29.0)
The original Slamdance sensation ended up grossing $19.6 million when it eventually went wide into 760 theaters on its fourth week. All the previous films opened around Halloween time and helped put the final nail into the coffin of the Saw series. The more official Paranormal Activity 5 opens on October 24 this year while The Marked Ones is trying to show it can specifically scare a Latino audience. For years, Hollywood barely bothered to release anything on the first weekend of the year, but a trend has certainly been developing this century:
The Devil Inside ($33.7 million), White Noise ($24.1), Texas Chainsaw 3D ($21.7), Hostel ($19.5), Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones ($18.2), One Missed Call ($12.5), Season of the Witch ($10.6), Freedom Writers ($9.4), Happily N'Ever After ($6.6), Code Name: The Cleaner ($4.2), Grandma's Boy ($3.0), BloodRayne ($1.5)
With the exception of the Hilary Swank movie, pretty much horror films one and all, one way or another. We still have Devil's Due and I, Frankenstein this month, not to mention Ride Along, That Awkward Moment and The Legend of Hercules. Welcome to January, everybody.
Let It Go, Let It GO...
Disney's Frozen opened in the wake of what will soon be the biggest film of 2013 (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). As the fire died down, the animated film held steady and took the number-one slot in its third week. Then The Hobbit opened and held onto the top spot for three weeks. Now, Frozen is back in its seventh week of release to reclaim the top spot, pass the $300 million mark and become the seventh highest grossing animated film in history. It will be hard for it to break into the top five with Despicable Me 2 guarding the entrance with its $367.8 million, but the extraordinary word of mouth this film seems to have should keep it in the top 10 into February.
The seventh week is the most impressive bit of Frozen's continued run. It's $22 million this weekend puts it in Avatar/Titanic territory, each grossing $31.2 and $25.9 million, respectively, in their seventh weekend. The next best on the list is The Passion of the Christ's $15.2 million.
Here is this century's list of the best nonopening film grosses on the first weekend of the year (coupled with the number of their respective weekend.)
Avatar ($68.4 million - 3), Sherlock Holmes ($36.6 - 2), Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel ($35.1 - 2), Meet the Fockers ($28.4 - 3), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($28.1 - 3), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ($25.0 - 3), Marley and Me ($24.2 - 2), Night at the Museum ($23.7 - 3), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ($23.0 - 3), Cast Away ($22.2 - 3), Cheaper by the Dozen ($21.6 - 2), Catch Me if You Can ($21.1 - 2), Frozen ($20.7 - 7), Bedtime Stories ($20.5 - 2), National Treasure: Book of Secrets ($20.06 - 3), Django Unchained ($20.0 - 2), Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol ($19.8 - 4), It's Complicated ($18.8 - 2), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ($18.6 - 2)
Very impressive indeed, as is American Hustle heading its way towards $100 million sometime next week, Anchorman 2 is about to cross $110 and The Hobbit is close to $230 million. The Wolf of Wall Street is going to need to some help as it's currently at $63 million with Lone Survivor likely to cut into that next weekend. Along with Saving Mr. Banks it will take an Oscar bump to get those films into nine digits.
- Erik Childress can be seen each Thursday morning on WCIU-TV's First Business breaking down the box office on the Movies & Money segment.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]
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