The final weekend of 2013 had a slew of new releases to end the year with. With its own bag of surprises. People seemed less interested in the new ones, and more comfortable with the existing blockbusters. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug took the top spot for the third weekend in a row, which is a feat only achieved by Gravity this year. The movie has so far earned $190 million domestically and $614 million worldwide, and even though it is likely to fall below the stellar performance of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, these figures are no mean feat, with still some way to go before the theatrical run ends. Close behind followed the exceptional run of Frozen which has amassed close to $500 million in worldwide revenues so far. The movie is witnessing some great word-of-mouth and it actually reported a jump of 47% over the previous weekend. Christmas did go well for some!
Of the lot of new releases, Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street has seen some great reviews, but its box-office beginning has been average. A $34 million collection over the five day holiday period, which includes an $18 million weekend collection. This is a $100 million budget film, so the studios would be hoping for good holding power in the coming weeks, some Oscar buzz to keep the interest alive, and a strong foreign run banking on Leonardo DiCaprio’s popularity. Scorsese has had movies crossing the $100 million mark domestically previously with DiCaprio in the lead, 2010’s Shutter Island and 2006’s The Departed. These movies though opened better than The Wolf of Wall Street, and so it would be interesting to see whether the latest Scorsese – DiCaprio collaboration can still achieve this feat.
Ben Stiller’s venture into something more serious has not bode so well. A $13 million opening and a $26 million collection over the holiday period for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty may not be good enough to recover the $90 million production budget. The movie has been appreciated by quite a few, but it simply seems to have been lost in the muddle of new releases. Saving Mr. Banks though did a good jump this weekend, collecting 50% more than the last one, to earn $38 million so far, which is nothing spectacular but an improvement over what the estimates would have been after the opening weekend. It has a modest budget of $35 million and so would do no one much harm. American Hustle is having a far more solid run as it moves to the second week, with domestic collections of $60 million so far. A few Oscar nominations could keep this movie alive for quite a while.
And then a string of flops follow. Keanu Reeves starrer 47 Ronin is a $175-200 million budget film which earned close to $10 million in the opening weekend. The movie is bound to be a colossal failure for Universal, and a $50 million domestic earning in all would also seem an achievement now. The Stallone-DeNiro movie Grudge Match opened with $7 million; it is literally a year which Stallone would want to wipe out from his memory! And then Bieber believed his fans would show up again for Believe as they did years back for Never Say Never, only this time they did not. With an opening weekend earning of $2 million, the movie is dead and buried.
So the year end is upon us, the curtains are about to close. The last weekend brought yet again its mix of good and bad and ugly. In a few days’ time, we would know whether the domestic box-office earnings would be able to surpass the record breaking year of 2012. It is going to be a tight one, the way things are right now, but what looked like a few hundreds of millions short, may just turn out to be a few hundreds of millions higher. We’ll update you once the final tally is announced. Till then, be merry, and have a Happy New Year!
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($29.9 million; third weekend)
2. Frozen ($28.8 million; fifth weekend)
3. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues ($20.2 million; second weekend)
4. American Hustle ($19.6 million; second weekend)
5. The Wolf of Wall Street ($18.5 million)