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Weekend Box Office: Two Movies Enter, One Movie Leaves

The first weekend of January only gave us two new nationwide releases, four noteworthy expansions, and not a single limited opening. Of the two wide releases, only one has had its numbers announced (so far), so this will be a short post.

The yet-to-be-announce box office title of the week is Andy Garcia’s ‘A Dark Truth‘. You’ll have to check the weekend actuals to see where that one landed.

I figured that ‘The Hobbit’ or ‘Django Unchained’ would beat out ‘Texas Chainsaw 3D‘, but Leatherface took a chainsaw to Middle Earth and slavery, pulling in $23 million from 2,654 screens. While this is a very strong opening for the franchise, The Hollywood Reporter points out that it’s not a great one for horror movies in January. Last year, ‘The Devil Inside’ scored $33.7 million on the exact same weekend. There has been no word yet about how well the 3D showings performed.

Without the help of 3D, ‘Django Unchained‘ remained in the #2 spot by only falling 33%, nabbing another $20 million. On its 13th day of release, ‘Django’ crossed the $100 million mark. Currently at $106.3 million, if/when the gritty Blaxploitation flick passes $120 million, it will replace ‘Inglourious Basterds’ as Tarantino’s highest-grossing film.

The Hobbit‘ fell from first place on its fourth weekend. ‘An Unexpected Journey’ slipped 45% in attendance and earned another $17.5 million. Peter Jackson’s fourth venture to Middle Earth has now made $263.8 million domestically.

The other big Christmas release, ‘Les Miserable‘ initially had a strong start, but was quickly passed by ‘Django’. ‘Les Mis’ dropped 42% this weekend, pulling in $16.1 million and slipping to fourth place. While the movie also crossed the $100 million mark this weekend, it only resides at $103.6 million.

Closing out the Top 5 was ‘Parental Guidance‘. It pains me to say that this title is almost completely profitable. With the help of another $10.1 million weekend, the $25 million-budgeted movie has now made $52.7 million.

Of the expanding titles this weekend, the only one to really make any noise was ‘Zero Dark Thirty‘. Katheryn Bigelow’s drama jumped from five screens to 60 and earned $2.7 million in the process. With a total of $4.4 million from three weeks as a limited release, the film still had a fantastic per-screen average of $45,833. It will be interesting to see what it does this coming weekend as it expands wide.

None of the other expansions did so well. ‘Promised Land‘ climbed from 15 screens to 1,676 and managed to claim the number #10 with $4.3 million, but its $2,573 per-screen average was pretty pathetic. ‘The Impossible‘ went from 15 screens to 572, earned $2.7 million and warranted a modest $4,825 per-screen average. Worst of them all was the rock star coming-of-age drama ‘Not Fade Away‘. Expanding from 19 to 565 screens, it only earned $280,000 over the weekend, for a depressing per-screen average of $496. With a 17-day total at $427,000, I think it’s fair to label the $20 million flick a failure.

Top 10:

1. ‘Texas Chainsaw 3D’ (Lionsgate) – $23,000,000

2. ‘Django Unchained’ (Weinstein) – $20,082,000

3. ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ (Warner Bros.) – $17,525,000

4. ‘Les Miserable’ (Universal) – $16,117,000

5. ‘Parental Guidance’ (Fox) – $10,125,000

6. ‘Jack Reacher’ (Paramount) – $9,300,000

7. ‘This is 40′ (Universal) – $8,559,000

8. ‘Lincoln’ (Buena Vista) – $5,258,000

9. ‘The Guilt Trip’ (Paramount) – $4,530,000

10. ‘Promised Land’ (Focus) – $4,312,000

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