erik lundegaard

Weekend Box Office: America Declines Thirds, 'Annie'

Annie 2014

It's a hard-knock life for “Annie.” But maybe the sun will come out tomorrow? 

The weekend before Xmas is usually not a big box-office winner. Everyone’s too busy to go to the movies. But even by those standards this weekend was problematic.

The top two movies are both final chapters in a trilogy, and both underperformed compared to their predecessors.

Well, you could argue “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” It won the weekend with $56 million, down from last year’s “Desolation of Smaug” opening ($73 million) and 2012’s “Unexpected Journey” opening ($84 million), but this one, unlike those, opened on a Wednesday, so its weekend total was diluted. The five-day total is $90 million. That said, sequels, particularly final-chapter sequels, usually open bigger than the earlier chapters and that’s not happening here. Adjusted for inflation, “Five Armies” grossed in five days what “Unexpected Journey” did in three.

But it’s worse news for the “Night at the Museum” series:

Date Movie Open  Gross
Dec. 22, 2006 Night at the Museum $30.4 m $250 m
May 22, 2009 NATM: Battle of the Smithsonian $54.1 m $177 m
Dec. 19, 2014 NATM: Secret of the Tomb $17.3 m  ?

Side note: Is Ben Stiller done as a box-office attraction? “Walter Mitty” grossed $58 million last year, “The Watch” $35 million the year before—I know: complications with that one—“Tower Heist” $78 million in 2011. His last live-action movie to go over $100 mil was “Little Fockers” in 2010; but its $148 was down from the $279 million “Meet the Fockers” grossed in 2004.

Meanwhile, “Annie,” starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis, debuted to bad reviews and $16.3 million for third place. Last weekend’s winner, Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” fell off by a Satanic 66.6% to gross only $8 million, while “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1” added another $7.7 million for fifth place. At $289 million domestic, it’s sputtering its way to $300 million when its predecessors both topped $400 million.

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Posted at 09:50 AM on Sun. Dec 21, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office  
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