Here's the thing about January: it's usually a wasteland. With the studios concentrating on their Oscar campaigns and the profitable summer months still half a year away, this month is where all of the crap usually gets dumped. However, this is also one of the few months where crap has a chance of performing well, hence the success of last year's 'The Devil Inside' and now 'Texas Chainsaw 3D,' which took the weekend with a strong $23 million opening.
Well, now we know why the box office was so incredibly light last week: everyone was waiting to see things this week! Although 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' clung to the top spot for the third week in a row, it was a very tight race, with only $4 million separating the top three films.
Who says Christmas is about staying warm by the fire and exchanging gifts with your loved ones? Everyone knows that the holidays are all about movies! A depressing musical adaptation of a Victor Hugo novel and an ultra-violent revenge fantasy may not sound like Christmas material, but the opening days of 'Les Miserables' and 'Django Unchained' prove otherwise.
Something went horribly wrong this weekend. Despite a few high profile new releases and the mere presence of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,' this weekend's box office was, uh...not great. What happened here?
Many Americans found themselves with four days off last week, ostensibly so they could go see their family and eat turkey and celebrate Thanksgiving from the comfort of their homes. Instead, they went to the movies. In fact, this was the biggest Thanksgiving box office of all time. Congratulations, America!
As expected, the fifth and final film of the 'Twilight' series opened huge. In fact, 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2' had the second biggest opening of the franchise and when you consider how huge these things tend to open, that's a big accomplishment. However, this was not just a victorious weekend for Twi-hards -- just about every film in the top ten had something to cheer about.
Another Halloween, another 'Paranormal Activity.' Another 'Paranormal Activity,' another large opening weekend. But all is not well in the state of Denmark (and by Denmark, we mean "the 'Paranormal Activity' franchise"): the fourth film in the series opened to significantly less than the previous entries.
'Taken' was the surprise hit of 2009, a January dump that inexplicably made nearly $150 million in the United States and transformed Liam Neeson into an instant action star. Three years later, 'Taken 2' has arrived in theaters on a primo release date and with an advertising campaign that probably cost more than the entire first movie. Well, it looks like the hype was worth it. The first film may have been a sleeper, but the second adventure of Liam Neeson's kidnap-prone family has opened like a true blockbuster.
After a few painful weeks, it looks like the box office has finally found its legs again. The combined power of 'Hotel Transylvania' and 'Looper' announced the end of the post-Summer doldrums and the start of the true Fall movie season. Sony, who distributed both films, must be the happiest studio in town right now.
It's expected that box office numbers go up on Sunday afternoon. By that point, the estimates tend to be pretty accurate and if there is a difference come Monday morning, it's negligible. Not so today. Three new releases are nearly deadlocked as I write this and we won't know until sometime tomorrow who will actually be one top. We shall update accordingly. Anyway, here's where we stand right now.
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