UPDATED WITH MORE ANALYSIS: Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, not surprisingly, came out on top at the New Year’s Day domestic box office. It is leading No. 2 Into The Woods and No. 3 Unbroken by comfortable margins, placing it easily in reach of $200M today. Five Armies grossed $9.33M Thursday after taking in $6M on a a slow New Year’s Eve.
Estimates so far point to a New Year’s Day total on par with January 1, 2014, when Frozen and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug dominated the top 10. Final tallies won’t be available until after the weekend, but some insiders are showing New Year’s Day up 3.8% from last year: The top 10 in 2014 grossed $48.2M, while yesterday’s initial total came in at $46.2M but that is expected to be adjusted upward.
New Year's B.O.: 'Woman In Black 2' To Scare Up Biz; 'Five Armies' Heads To $200M
Disney’s Into The Woods came on strong yesterday, estimated to have taken in more than $8.1M after nabbing $5.3M on New Year’s Eve and overtaking Universal’s Unbroken despite fewer theaters. Sources say the PG-rated Woods was propelled by strong matinees, which likely gave it an edge over the PG-13 biopic. It is on course to gross $28M-$30M over the four-day weekend.
Unbroken, meanwhile, grossed $6.92M on New Year’s Day, bringing its two-week total to $69.443M.
The last holiday musical, Les Miserables, grossed $7.61M in 2,814 theaters on New Year’s Day 2013. It had cumed $80.57M by that point following its Christmas Day bow, and that Universal film went on to cume $148.8M domestically.
In Hobbit lore, Five Armies‘ January 1 estimate places the pic between An Unexpected Journey ($9.45M New Year’s Day 2013 in 4,100 theaters) and The Desolation Of Smaug ($7.792M New Year’s Day 2014, 3,928 theaters). Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies are running shy of his Lord Of The Rings titles overall, and that is true on the franchises’ January 1 grosses too. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King grossed $12.78M in 3,703 theaters on January 1, 2004 ($262.23M cume by that point following its mid-December bow); The Two Towers grossed just more than $11M on January 1, 2003 in 3,622 theaters ($229.63M cume by that time after its December 18 release); and The Fellowship Of The Ring took in $10.248M from 3,359 locations on January 1, 2002. It had cumed $174.119M by then after opening December 19, 2001.
The frame’s lone newcomer, Relativity Studio’s The Woman In Black 2, grossed an estimated $1.5 million from Thursday screenings that started at 7 PM. Industry expectations are eyeing a $9M-$11M weekend for the horror-thriller sequel. The company had acquired the title for only $1M and will go wide into 2,602 North American theaters today.
In February 2012, CBS Films’ Woman In Black grossed $230K in sneaks, taking in $8.3M its first day and $20.9M for the pic’s first full weekend. Relativity’s Oculus grossed $475K in sneaks last April, grossing $5M its first full day and landing at $12M its opening weekend.
Elsewhere among the top 10, Fox’s Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb and Sony’s Annie are estimated to come on the heels of the New Year’s Day top three. Night At The Museum nabbed $5.925M, while Annie is estimated by industry sources to have come in at $4.23M in 3,197 theaters. If that latter figure holds when final numbers come in, that compares to its $4.6M gross on Christmas Day, which would suggest the picture is showing legs.
Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 did comparatively better in its Christmas vs. New Year’s totals. The feature grossed $2.89M yesterday in 2,793 theaters. That compares to a $2.685M gross in the same number of locations December 25. The number is actually slightly higher than Catching Fire on New Year’s Day last year ($2.88M).
The Weinstein Company’s The Imitation Game also held firm in 747 theaters. It grossed $2.76M Thursday vs. its $3.07M Christmas Day showing in which it added more than 700 theaters.
Paramount’s The Gambler came in at over $2.38M Thursday. The Mark Wahlberg-starrer is proving weaker than the actor’s December 2010 roll-out of The Fighter, which grossed $4.423M on January 1, 2011 in 2,534 theaters despite having been in release more than two weeks longer at that point than Gambler. The Gambler opened Christmas Day grossing $5M.
Disney’s animated Oscar hopeful Big Hero 6 re-joined the top 10 on Thursday, grossing $1.877M in 2,065 theaters. Since opening in early November, it has cumed $206.5M.
Fox’s Exodus: Gods And Kings ($1.8M) crept ahead of Fox Searchlight’s Wild ($1.575M) to complete the top 10.
Sony’s The Interview is estimated to have grossed $309K in its expanded 580 locations Thursday, giving it a one-day $533 per-theater average according to industry estimates. The studio said last week that the title had cumed $15M via its digital platforms. Its theatrical total is estimated to stand at more than $3.8M after yesterday’s haul.
Warner Bros. American Sniper continues its robust showing at four New York and L.A. locations. It grossed $223K for a solid $55,770 PTA. The Clint Eastwood-directed title scored a $240K gross in four theaters on Christmas Day, giving it a $60K-plus PTA — the largest December 25 limited release under 10 screens ever.
Here’s the latest chart:
1). The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (WB), 3,875 theaters /$9.33M Thurs./ Total cume: $198.857M/ Wk 3
2). Into The Woods (DIS), 2,507 theaters / $8.109M Thurs. / Total cume:$72,188,000M / Wk 2
3). Unbroken (UNI), 3,131 theaters / $6.92MM Thurs. / Total cume: $69.443M / Wk 2
4). Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb (FOX), 3,914 theaters / $5,925M Thurs. / Total cume: $75,275,652 / Wk 2
5). Annie (Sony), 3,197 theaters / $4.236M Thurs.* / Total cume: $61.196M / Wk 2
6). The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (LGF),2,793 theaters / $2.89M Thurs./ Total cume: $316.17M/ Wk 6
7.) The Imitation Game (TWC), 747 theaters / $2.762M Thurs. / Total cume: $22,697,228 / Wk 5
8). The Gambler (Par), 2,478 theaters / $2.388M Thurs. / Total cume: $21.266M / Wk 2
9). Big Hero 6 (DIS), 2,065 theaters / $1.877M Thurs. / Total cume: $206,457,000
10). Exodus: Gods And Kings (FOX), 3,002 theaters / $1.8M Thurs. / Total cume: $57,524,102/ Wk 3
11). Wild (FSL), 1,285 theaters / $1,575M Thurs. / Total cume: $21,314,471 / Wk 4
Big Eyes (TWC), 1,307 theaters / $987K Thurs./ $755 screen average / Total cume: $7,313,981 / Wk 2
The Interview (Sony), 580 theaters / $309K Thurs.* / $533 screen average / Total cume: $3.814M / Wk 2
Selma (Par), 22 theaters / $231K Thurs. / $10,500 screen average / Total cume: $1.435M / Wk 2
American Sniper (WB), 4 theaters / $223K Thurs. / $55,770 screen average/ Total cume: $1.211M/ Wk 2
* Per industry estimates
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.