Saturday, December 27, 2014


‘Unbroken,’ ‘Into the Woods’ Earn $15 Million on Christmas Day

by Ray SubersDecember 26, 2014

With over $15 million each, Angelina Jolie's Unbroken and Disney musical Into the Woods had a very Merry Christmas at the box office.

Meanwhile, The Gambler and Big Eyes also debuted nationwide, while The Interview (2014) opened in limited release.

The Top 10 earned an estimated $71.2 million, which makes this the biggest Christmas Day since 2009 (when Avatar, Sherlock Holmes and the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel ruled).

took first place yesterday with an estimated $15.6 million, which ranks third all-time among Christmas Day debuts, behind Sherlock Holmes and Les Miserables. That's pretty remarkable considering the movie lacks any recognizable on-screen talent: credit this to the popularity of Laura Hillenbrand's book, curiosity about Jolie's directing, and the movie's inspirational true story (which appears to have some faith-friendly elements).

.This type of Christmas Day opening virtually guarantees $125-million-plus in the long run. It could potentially go quite a bit higher; if Unbroken follows Django Unchained's pattern, it will wind up with over $160 million.

Playing at 2,440 theaters, Into the Woods wasn't far behind with $15.1 million. While that is undeniably a strong result, it is still 17 percent lower than Les Miserables (which opened on Christmas Day two years ago). If Into the Woods follows that movie's trajectory—which was fairly front-loaded—it would fall short of $125 million total. With the movie's more family-friendly content, it's likely that it gets closer to $150 million.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
banked $13.1 million yesterday. That's the second-highest Christmas Day for Peter Jackson's Middle Earth saga behind The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($14 million). Through nine days, the final chapter in the Hobbit trilogy has taken in $127.1 million.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
added $7.35 million for a new total of $34.9 million. Meanwhile, Annie (2014) grossed $4.6 million on Christmas Day, and finished its first week with $29.2 million.

The Gambler
opened in fifth place with an estimated $5 million. In comparison, fellow Paramount release The Wolf of Wall Street took in $9.15 million on Christmas Day last year. With mixed reviews and zero awards buzz, this is a fine result for The Gambler. In the long run, this will likely wind up in the $40-to-$60 million range.

After nearly a month in limited release, The Imitation Game expanded to 747 theaters and earned an impressive $3.1 million. In comparison, The King's Speech grossed $2.12 million when it expanded nationwide on Christmas Day in 2010.

Big Eyes
was probably the biggest Christmas Day disappointment. Opening at 1,307 locations, the Weinstein Company release earned an estimated $1.4 million. While it's the type of adult-friendly movie that holds well in the long run, it's still looking at a best-case-scenario of $25-to-$30 million.

Playing at 331 theaters, The Interview (2014) took 15th place with an estimated $1.04 million. The movie was also available to rent for $6 on YouTube and Xbox Live.

opened to $322,000 from 19 locations for a very good $16,947 per-theater average. Meanwhile, Clint Eastwood's American Sniper earned $240,000 from four venues, which translates to a stunning $60,000 per-theater average. Selma expands nationwide on January 9th, while Sniper goes wide on January 16th.

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