‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ plummeted in its second weekend but managed to remain on top of a lackluster box office, pulling in $36.7 million. ‘The Hobbit’ suffered a 56.6% drop, which is by far the worst compared to any of the films in the original ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy; previously the worst second-week drop of the franchise belonged to ‘Return of the King’, and that was a relatively mild 30.3% drop.
So far ‘The Hobbit’ has grossed about $150 million domestically, which is very underwhelming considering the opening buzz and the inflated ticket prices due to the IMAX/3D run. While it initially appeared that the film stood a good chance of maintaining momentum through the holiday season, it now appears this film was heavily front-loaded and will have trouble coming close to the totals set by earlier films in the ‘LOTR’ franchise.
The sci-fi/action film ‘Jack Reacher’ opened in second place with a disappointing $15.6 million haul, which is much lower than expected. However, the film seems to be getting strong initial reviews, which means it might have a chance at a decent run over the holidays.
‘This is 40’ debuted in third place with just $12 million, and isn’t scoring well with audiences or critics. Like ‘Jack Reacher’, the film is performing at a much lower level than expected, but it’s hard to say how the film will total out until we’re past the holiday week.
Because of the holiday theme of ‘Rise of the Guardians’, the kiddie animated film was able to stick around in the top five this week, coming in at fourth place with $5.9 million. ‘Lincoln’ rounded out the top five for the week with a $5.63 million draw.
‘The Guilt Trip’ bombed in sixth place, opening with just $5.4 million—the worst ever opening for a Seth Rogen movie, though it appears that it was his co-star Barbra Streisand who drew audiences, not Rogen. The 3D re-release of ‘Monsters Inc’ was also a bit of a bomb, debuting in seventh place with a paltry $5 million. It seems that families are losing their willingness to pay the high ticket prices for re-releases of older films that they already own on DVD or Blu-Ray, as Disney’s 3D re-releases continue to earn less and less revenue.