Weekend Box Office: Five Armies Declare Victory

It turns out that moviegoers did want to visit Middle-Earth “one last time.”

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies‘ was the only new movie release to make some real noise this weekend. The sixth and (supposedly) final installment of Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth saga easily took the top spot at the box office with $56.2 million over the three-day weekend. ‘Five Armies’ technically opened with nationwide showings at 7 PM on Tuesday. When you factor in the numbers it drew during that pre-weekend release, the film’s current domestic gross comes to $90.6 million, which puts this installment on track to be the highest-grossing of the three ‘Hobbit’ movies. However, it still won’t come close to making ‘Lord of the Rings’ money. The film is also playing very well overseas. After a head-start release in a few markets, it has already earned $265 million from foreign markets.

In distant second place was the third and (supposedly) final installment of Ben Stiller’s family fantasy series, ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb‘. The second entry in the ‘Musuem’ franchise dropped drastically from the earnings of the first, and the third chapter is following suit. It opened with only $17.3 million. To give that number some weight – or lack thereof – the first ‘Night at the Museum’ opened to $30.4 million on this same weekend eight years ago. Made with a budget of $127 million, this release is already a bust.

Third place went to the remake of ‘Annie‘, which had a pretty solid opening weekend despite horrible reviews. Coming in just behind ‘Secret of the Tomb’, the family musical pulled in $16.3 million and is on-track for a domestic total north of $80 million.

Exodus: Gods and Kings‘ took a massive blow in its second weekend. The $140 million Bible epic fell from first place to fourth with a nasty 66% drop-off. Much of its thunder was stolen away by fellow epic movie ‘The Hobbit’, and it was only able to earn $8 million. With a ten-day total of $38.9 million, ‘Exodus’ is already dead in the water.

Rounding out the Top 5 was the five-week-old ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1‘. Easing just 39% in attendance, the third picture in the franchise pulled in another $7.7 million. With a domestic gross of $289.2 million, ‘Mockingjay’ will likely close right next to the highest-grossing movie of 2014 (so far), ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. The film’s international draw seems to be slowing, but it has still earned $350.5 million overseas.

With an expansion that placed it on more than 1,000 screens, Reese Witherspoon’s Oscar bait drama ‘Wild‘ climbed up the charts from tenth place to sixth. With $4.1 million, it’s estimated that ‘Wild’ will do almost exactly one-half the business of fellow Fox Searchlight success story ‘Black Swan’, which is a very good thing for the studio.

Landing in the #10 spot was a title that no one saw coming. From 272 screens, a Bollywood picture titled ‘P.K.‘ finished with a solid $3.4 million.

Sony Classics’ biographical drama ‘Mr. Turner‘ also had an impressive limited opening. From just four screens in Los Angeles and New York, it earned $109,000 and a per-screen average of $21,800.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ (Warner Bros.) – $56,220,000

2. ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ (Fox) – $17,300,000

3. ‘Annie’ (Sony) – $16,300,000

4. ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ (Fox) – $8,065,000

5. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1’ (Lionsgate) – $7,750,000

6. ‘Wild’ (Fox Searchlight) – $4,150,000

7. ‘Top Five’ (Paramount) – $3,570,000

8. ‘Big Hero 6’ (Buena Vista) – $3,563,000

9. ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ (Fox) – $3,525,000

10. ‘P.K.’ (UTV) – $3,461,000

1 comment

  1. William Henley

    I wonder if a lot of the fall from Exodus may have come from bad word-of-mouth. Much like Noah, you are taking something that holds deep religious significant to over a billion people worldwide, then make major changes to the point that it alienates your target audience. Someone at somepoint in the production should have said “Maybe it is not a good idea to portray Moses as being crazy”. Also timing wise, this would have been much more relevent if it was released in the spring, to coincide with Passover.

    It just sounds like Exodus is the result of a ton of poor decisions, and the numbers are reflecting that.

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