Box Office Monday Update: ‘Into The Woods’ Edges ‘Unbroken’

3RD UPDATE, MONDAY, 5:28 PM: Most of the major studios have not reported their Monday actuals, as is customary due to the holidays. Warner Bros, Sony and Relativity are still off this week, which means Rentrak won’t issue a final report until January 5. What we do know, though, is that Disney’s Into The Woods beat Universal’s Unbroken by the hair of its chinny-chin-chin over the Christmas Week frame.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUGSome distribs marveled yesterday why Into The Woods, a PG film, didn’t beat Unbroken, which is largely adult-driven. Woods wound up posting a better Sunday thanks to matinees of $8.2M vs. Unbroken‘s $7.5M. Nonetheless, both films have driven a ton of biz to the year-end box office, with each exceeding $46M in their four-day openings. Rentrak currently sees the total weekend at $208.9M, still up 6% over last year’s comparable frame of $196.9M. The 2014 B.O. is at $10.22B, 5% behind last year, which finaled at $10.9B.

Here is the partial final Top 20 chart, a composite of actuals reported and yesterday’s estimates:

1). The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (WB), $40.9M (-25%), 3,875 locations, $10,560 average, Total cume: $168M, Wk 2
2). Into The Woods (DIS), $31.051M, 2,440 locations, $12,726 average, Total cume: $46.141M, Wk 1
3). Unbroken (UNI), $30.621M, 3,131 locations, $9,780 average, Total cume: $46.055M, Wk 1
4). Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb (Fox), $20.2M (+18%), 3,914 locations (+129), $5,161 average, Total cume: $54.7M, Wk 2
5). Annie (Sony), $16.5M (+4%), 3,197 locations (+81), $5,161 average, Total cume: $45.7M, Wk 2
6). Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (LG), $10M (+28%), 2,793 locations (-381), $3,603 average, Total cume: $306.7M, Wk 6
7). The Gambler (PAR), $9.1M, 2,478 locations, $3,683 average, Total cume: $14.1M, Wk.1
8). The Imitation Game (TWC), $7.9M (+824%), 747 locations (+713), $10,619 average, Total cume: $14.6M, Wk 5
9). Exodus: Gods And Kings, (Fox), $6.7M (-17%), 3,002 locations (-501), $2,236 average, Total cume: $52.4M, Wk 3
10). Wild (SEA), $5.3M (+31%), 1,285 locations (+224), $4,194 average, Total cume: $16.3M, Wk 4
11). Big Hero 6 (DIS), $5.0M (37%), 2,065 locations (-342), $2,424 average, Total cume: $200M, Wk 8
12). Top Five (PAR), $3.6M (1%), 1,426 locations (+119), $2,552 average, Total cume: $19.1M, Wk 3
13). Penguins Of Madagascar (Fox/D’Works Ani), $3.2M (-6%), 2,033 locations (-684), $1,610 average, Total cume: $70.9M, Wk. 5
14). Interstellar (PAR), $3.002M (+11%), 1,253 locations (-297), $2,396 average, Total cume: $177.38M, Wk 8
15). Big Eyes (TWC), $3.001M, 1,307 locations, $2,297 average, Total cume: $4.4M, Wk. 1
16). The Interview (SNY), $1.8M, 331 locations, $5,438 average, Total cume: $2.8M, Wk.1
17). P.K., (UTV), $1.7M (-52%), 264 locations (-8), $6,462 average, Total cume: $7.8M, Wk. 2
18). Horrible Bosses 2 (WB), $1.4M (-34%), 1,002 locations (-900), $1,457 average, Total cume: $50.8M, Wk. 5
19). The Theory Of Everything (FOC), $1.2M (-24%), 736 locations (-275), $1,659 average, Total cume: $22.3M, Wk. 8
20). Foxcatcher (SPC), $932K (-1%), 315 locations (+7), $2,961 average, Total cume: $6.1M

2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY, 11:30 AM (after 9:05 AM post): Insiders had a theory two weeks ago that there would be a disparity on the box office charts between The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies at No. 1 and everything else.  They thought there wouldn’t be a flock of films that would dominate the top of the charts like last year. Boy, were those folks wrong. Over four days, the top 5 films grosses ranged from $20M+ upward to Warner Bros./New Line/MGM’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’  $54.5M. After a notoriously off year, 2014 bounced back this Christmas, which catapulted the year over the $10B mark. Rentrak Theatrical estimates show the three day frame of Dec. 26-28 at $210M, up 6.6% over the same period last year.  Christmas day was the catalyst. Universal distribution chief Nikki Rocco exclaimed about the B.O. rebound, “Christmas day was an anomaly this year. It was such an extraordinarily high box office day and it wasn’t because of weather.”  Chimed in Sony domestic distribution head Rory Bruer, “There was a huge turnout of adults on Christmas day. It’s when adults go to the movies finally; when they let it go and unwind from the hectic holiday season.” Per Rentrak, Christmas racked up an estimated $82M, up 6% over last year.

Warner Bros.’ The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies topped the post-Christmas weekend with $41.4M. While the second weekends for the franchise’s previous chapters occurred prior to Christmas, Five Armies’ second FSS bested both the second and third weekends (post Christmas) of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ($31.5M, $29M respectively) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($36.8M, $31.9M). Universal/Legendary’s Unbroken and Disney’s Into the Woods,  simply blew away their initial respective projections for the four day of high teens and low $30Ms.

Warner Bros. sets date for American SniperHowever, there were box office gifts spread all around including Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 crossing $300M, second frame percent hikes for Fox’s Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Sony’s Annie, the crossover success of Weinstein Co.’s wide expansion of The Imitation Game, and the last minute release of Sony’s hot political comedy The Interview which rang up $2.8M from 331 indie hubs. Even limited releases had something to crow about with Warner Bros.’ American Sniper achieving amazing A+ Cinemascores in every quad (male, female, over and under 25) as well as laying claim to the largest limited release in Christmas history. Paramount’s Selmafueled by its awards traction of four Golden Globe noms and 100% Rotten Tomatoes score, saw a great launch with $590K over FSS and $912K estimated over four. Produced by Pathe, Plan B and Harpo Films, Paramount bought domestic rights to Selma back in February. The film’s budget is $20M

unbroken“Wow” was the first word Rocco said to Deadline when she got on the phone this morning to talk about the stellar weekend for Unbroken. The fresh-face star film about the life of Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini drew mostly adults at 62% over the age of 30 and 71% over the age of 25. Close to 25% of those polled said that they attended Unbroken because of Angelina Jolie’s attachment to the project as director. “Marketing understood Zamperini’s story coupled with Angelina Jolie’s name.  Her name brings a certain cache to the project. She’s a great actress and knew how to bring out the emotions with this story,” said Rocco.  Unbroken‘s stellar four-day haul of $47.3M is certain to raise its profile as Oscar nom polls open tomorrow. Further propelling Unbroken, which played very well in middle America, were faith-based crowds. Christian leaders such as Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, endorsed Jolie’s film (In an article penned on the Fox News website, Graham expounded on the relationship between his father Billy Graham and the late Zamperini).

movies-into-the-woods-1“There is a brand halo occurring from Frozen,” said Disney’s distribution chief Dave Hollis about the $46.1M success of Stephen Sondheim’s fairy tale musical Into the Woods this weekend, “It’s made Maleficent stronger, has made Into the Woods stronger and it will make Cinderella stronger. There’s an ecosystem that creates confidence and creativity.”  Women comprised the audience of Into the Woods at 54% while males attended at 46%. 56% were over 25 while families repped 38% of the audience.  Through four days, Into the Woods is behind Universal’s 2012 holiday musical juggernaut by $2.65M.  In terms of Broadway musical feature adaptations, Into the Woods beats the three-day of Mamma Mia! ($27.8M) and the first FSS of Les Mis ($27.3M). Said Hollis, “With the opening of Into the Woods this weekend, we exposed the musical to four times the audience who saw it during its entire Broadway run.”

With franchises and family films being the top choices over the holiday, Paramount’s R-rated drama thriller The Gambler charted underneath such titles at 7th with $14.3M over four days.  The film attracted mostly guys at 51% with 81% being over 25. In relation to its $25M budget, the film posted a solid return. Crime dramas aren’t uncommon during the holiday season, nor do guy demos shrug ’em at this time of year: Warner Bros. back in December 1995 launched Michael Mann’s Heat which made $8.4M in its opening weekend on its way to $67.4M.   

the-imitation-gameThrough five weekends, Weinstein Co.’s The Imitation Game, after its expansion, is running 76% ahead of 2010’s The King’s Speech at the same point in time.  In widening the film, which already has an A+ Cinemascore and an 88% recommend, the Weinstein Co. learned that the film was indeed resonating with middle America markets such as suburban Kansas City; that the film’s buzz isn’t just based on New York and LA awards hype. In certain Texas theaters, The Imitation Game even outgrossed Sony’s The Interview. The company’s decision to take Big Eyes wide at over 1,000 engagements stemmed from the cult popularity of director Tim Burton and the chance to meet holiday traffic head on. The biopic came in close to its four-day projection with $4.4M and it is off to a solid start: Per Post-Track, a Rentrak tracking service, the film matched Unbroken with an 80 score among moviegoers, beating out Into the Woods’ 73 index and The Gambler‘s 69. 63% gave Big Eyes a definite recommend. 

Interview Kim Jong UnIn the days to come, we’ll learn more about the possible expansion of Sony’s The Interview. Sony’s Bruer said in a statement, “The number one priority of our unconventional release was to give people the chance to see The Interview. While this is a completely unprecedented circumstance without proper comparisons, we are very pleased with how it is doing both theatrically where we are seeing numerous sell-outs across the country, and online where it remains at the top of many charts. Most gratifying of all, is hearing how people banded together to watch the film and have a good time.”

Beamed star Seth Rogen, “I’m so grateful that the movie found its way into theaters, and I’m thrilled that people actually went out and saw it. The fact that people actually left their houses when they had the option of staying home is amazing.”

1). The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (WB), 3,875 theaters /$15.64M Fri./$14.3M (-8%)/$11.46M (-20%) Sun./3-day cume:$41.4M (-24%)/4-day:$54.5M/Total cume: $168.5M/Wk 2

2). Unbroken (UNI), 3,131 theaters /$12.3M Fri./$10.8M (-13%) Sat./$8.6M Sun/ 3-day cume:$31.748M/ 4-day & Total cume: $47.34M* /Wk 1
*includes Christmas Day and previews of $850K.

3). Into the Woods (DIS), 2,440 theaters /$12.2M Fri. /$10.6M Sat.(-13%)/$8.19M Sun. (-23%)/3-day cume: $31.02M/4-day & Total cume:$46.1M* /Wk 1
includes Christmas Eve previews of $1.1M

4). Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (FOX), 3,914 theaters (+129) /$7.4M Fri./$7.355M (-1%)/$5.8M Sun. (-21%)/3-day cume: $20.6M (+21%)/4-day: $27.875M/Total cume: $55.3M /Wk 2

5). Annie (Sony), 3,197 theaters (+81) /$6.1M Fri./$6M Sat. (-2%)/$4.5M Sun.(-25%)/3-day cume: $16.6M (+5%)/4-day: $21.2M/Total cume: $45.8M /Wk 2

6). The Hunger GamesMockingjay Part 1 (LGF),2,793 theaters (-381) /$3.55M Fri./$3.7M (+4%)/$2.75M Sun.(-26%)/3-day cume:$10M (+27%)/4-day: $12.7M/Total cume: $306.66M/Wk 6

7). The Gambler (Par), 2,478 theaters /$3.4M Fri./$3.35M Sat./$2.5M Sun./3-day cume: $9.3M/Total cume: $14.3M /Wk 1

8.) The Imitation Game (TWC), 747 theaters (+713) / $2.89M Fri./$2.86M (-1%) Sat./$2.18M (-24%) Sun./3-day cume:$7.93M (+824%)/4-day cume: $11M/Total cume: $14.6M/ Wk 5

9). Exodus: Gods and Kings (FOX), 3,002 theaters (-501)/$2.38M Fri./$2.455M (+3%) Sat./$1.9M (-22%) Sun./3-day cume: $6.75M (-17%)/4-day: $9.77M/Total cume: $52.5M/Wk 3

10). Wild (FSL), 1,285 theaters (+224) / $1.88M Fri. /$1.98M (+5%) Sat./$1.565M (-21%) Sun/3-day cume:$5.4M (+32%)/ 4-day: $7.1M/Total cume: $16.4M /Wk 4


Big Eyes (TWC), 1,307 theaters /$1.04M Fri./$1.1M (+6%) Sat./$837K  (-25%) Sun./$3-day cume: $2.986M/4-day & total cume: $4.4M/Wk 1

The Interview (Sony), 331 theaters  / $735K Fri./$615K Sat./$461K Sun./3-day cume:$1.8M/4-day & Total cume: $2.8M/ Wk 1

American Sniper (WB), 4 theaters / $199K Fri./$216K Sat./$195K Sun./$153K screen average/3-day:$610K/ 4-day & Total cume: $850k/ Wk 1

Selma (Par), 19 theaters  /$211K Fri/$199K (-6%) Sat/$180K (-10%) Sun/3-day cume:$595k/$31,052 screen average/ Total cume: $912K / Wk 1

UPDATE, SATURDAY, 8:30 AM:  Studio-reported Friday figures: Warner Bros. is reporting $15.65M for The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, higher than what the industry thought late last night and a running cume of $142.75M. Universal’s Unbroken is still in second for the day with a studio-reported $12.3M (cume $27.4M) followed by Disney’s Into The Woods at $12.2M (two day cume $12.27M) in third. The two look like they’re neck and neck, but the industry predicts that Into The Woods will take second based on slightly better matinees for the PG-rated film over the PG-13-rated Unbroken’s ($11.5M vs. $11.1M).

the interview 6Sony’s The Interview posted a higher Friday of $725K than the industry originally predicted, only off 30% from its $1M Christmas opening. The film is set to bring in three-day that’s on par with Warner Bros.’  Veronica Mars ($1.988M), another day-and-date theatrical VOD release which had a groundswell of support. While the number of theaters for The Interview are expected to remain unchanged at 331, Sony will try to bring on those venues that they couldn’t secure at the last minute. The possibility of the James Franco-Seth Rogen comedy playing a major theater circuit is still up in the air given those exhibs’ strict policies against booking day-and-date theatrical VOD pics.

Fox’s Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb is in fourth with $7.4M (+31% from its opening Friday) and Sony’s Annie with $6.1M (up 15% from its opening Friday). Both family pic titles were up over their Christmas day B.O.  Said Sony domestic distribution chief Rory Bruer about Annie’s uptick yesterday, “It’s always tough Christmas day as kids have their toys; the day after is bigger day for family pics. Annie is going to play and play; it’s a big success for us.”. Lionsgate’s Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 flew past $300M as reported last night with $3.55M in sixth. The rest: Paramount’s The Gambler took $3.4M in seventh, TWC’s The Imitation Game in eighth with $2.9M, Exodus in ninth with $2.375M, and Wild in tenth with $1.865M. Further analysis below. Big Eyes posted a better Friday than thought with $1.04M. Arthouse powerhouses Selma and American Sniper came in close to their late-night projection with $211K and $199K respectively. Sniper is still pulling in a daily per theater of $50K.

PREVIOUS, SATURDAY, 4 AM: Franchises and family films continued to leave buckets of cash under the Christmas trees of the major studios as The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies powered back to No. 1 Friday over new titles Unbroken and Into The Woods with an industry estimate of $15.2M. Sony’s controversial comedy The Interview slid 41% Friday from its $1.04M Christmas opening at 331 locales, but then most adult-geared arthouse films were down a bit from their Christmas takes. Analysts see the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy taking in $2.7M over its four days by Sunday.

mockingjay 10Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 looks like it clicked past the $300M milestone on Friday, becoming the second film to do so this year behind Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy ($332.7M).  It’s quite possible that in January, Mockingjay will take the 2014 top grossing film title away from Guardians. Though Unbroken and Into The Woods eased a bit from their Christmas openings with respective dips of 17% and 18%, it would be an understatement to say that both Universal and Disney are over the moon. Given the lackluster B.O. year, both studios rightfully made conservative projections on their titles heading into the holiday with Disney seeing at best low $30Ms over four days for Into The Woods, and Universal seeing high teens for Unbroken over the same span. As of tonight, both films are looking at four-day bows in the high $40Ms.

Further proving the power of multiples for family films over the Christmas frame were the second Fridays of 20th Century Fox’s Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb and Sony’s Annie: Both bested their opening days a week ago respectively with estimated 33% and 18% surges.

Holiday moviegoers show no sign of losing interest in The Hobbit. Five Armies‘ haul yesterday of $13.14M ranked as the second best Christmas day among Peter Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit installments, ranking behind 2003’s Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King‘s $13.986M. If estimates hold strong throughout the weekend, and Five Armies collects a 12-day domestic cume of $167.5M, it will have surpassed last year’s The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug by 19% and will be a few bucks short of the $168.1M generated by 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey over the same frame.

Unbroken 1When it comes to World War II films and couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt — Angie wins. True, Unbroken is a different type of war film that focuses on the human spirit and will, not to mention it’s a biopic, but it’s projected to outpace a number of films of its genre in its first four days, including Pitt’s Inglourious Basterds ($42.7M) and Fury ($26.05M), as well as other notable World War II films as Saving Private Ryan ($35.8M) and Valkyrie ($29.5M).

Into The Woods looks like magic beans for Stephen Sondheim on the big screen, with the musical expected to surpass the $52.9M total domestic B.O. of his previous Broadway musical feature adaptation Sweeney Todd by the end of the year. Sweeney Todd  played during Christmas 2007 and also starred Johnny Depp. The obvious comp for Into The Woods is Universal’s 2012 Les Miserables which also was a Christmas bow. Les Mis boasted an opening day of $18.1M and followed a slightly different B.O. trajectory since into the woodsChristmas fell on a Tuesday that year, however, by Sunday Into The Woods could be just shy of the $48.8M generated by the Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg musical. Into The Woods’ current awards profile, like Les Mis, is no doubt contributing to the surge at the box office: the Rob Marshall film has three Golden Globes noms, for best musical/comedy, actress Emily Blunt and supporting actress Meryl Streep, while Les Mis touted four, for song (“Suddenly”), best musical/comedy, actor Hugh Jackman, and supporting actress Anne Hathaway (the last three took home trophies). Into The Woods’ B Cinemascore isn’t getting the best of it. Fans of the musical are responding, and critics warmed to it with a 72% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. Given how fairy tales are in Disney’s wheelhouse, particularly with its ABC cult hit Once Upon A Time, it’s interesting to note that the company didn’t engage the show’s fervent fanbase — particularly where it thrives on social media — with any cross-promotional Into The Woods events, aside from a heavy spot rotation of ads.

The Gambler remake WahlbergWhile Mark Wahlberg’s 2010 December title The Fighter and this year’s The Gambler had different rollouts and awards buzz, the latter is betting on a four-day cume of $13.4M that’s slightly higher than the wide release 3-day break of the actor’s boxing film ($12.1M). Among the actor’s R-rated films, The Gambler should file in the middle of those openings, which in recent years have been as high as Lone Survivor which made $37.8M back in January during its wide bow, and as low as 2013’s Broken City which made $8M during its first weekend. Paramount is just fine: The Gambler‘s production cost was $25M.

bigeyes1Weinstein Co.’s Big Eyes is expected to rank outside the top 10, arriving at the lower end of its holiday four-day projection.  It’s too early in the film’s release to comment on its progress in just over 1,000 engagements. Key Oscar noms and potential Golden Globe wins for Amy Adams (best actress comedy/musical) and Christoph Waltz  (best actor comedy/musical) could propel this Tim Burton-directed film higher. The film has a 72% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, which is great because an adult drama such as this is largely driven by reviews.

The InterviewRelishMix, which monitors entertainment social media, noticed the significant upswing in The Interview‘s activity across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter after Sony decided to release the film in independent theaters, citing plugs made by Franco (7.8M Facebook likes and 2.7M Twitter followers) and Rogen (2.4M Twitter). YouTube views for The Interview were at 37M last week. After Sony pulled their social media, 51% of the views were lost according to RelishMix, but rebounded with 17M when the studio flicked the switch back on, adding another 50 videos and another million plus views. The Interview Twitter hashtag #TheInterview spiked to 100k last week in the middle of its media storm and popped again on Christmas Eve outpacing #Unbroken, #IntoTheWoods and #TheGambler by over 18 to 1.

Among limited bows, Warner Bros.’ American Sniper should hold its record as the highest opening screen average for a December release, potentially beating 2006’s Dreamgirls’ $126,316 (at 3 theaters) by Sunday. Paramount’s Selma is strong with $214K on Friday. RelishMix sees Selma star and producer Oprah Winfrey as the key driver for auds, with her social media reach of 26M Twitter followers and 10M Facebook friends.

Below are the top 10 films based on industry estimates. Friday percent changes vs. previous Friday, Dec. 19.

1). The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (WB), 3,875 theaters /$15.2M Fri. (-8%)/3-day cume:$40.4 (-26%)/ Total cume: $167.5M/Wk 2

2). Unbroken (UNI), 3,131 theaters /$13M Fri./3-day cume:$33.3M/ Total cume: $48.9M* /Wk 1
*includes Christmas Eve previews of $850K

3). Into the Woods (DIS), 2,440 theaters /$12.4M Fri./3-day cume: $32.6M/Total cume:$47.7M* /Wk 1
includes Christmas Eve previews of $1.1M

4). Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (FOX), 3,914 theaters (+129) /$7.5M Fri. (+33%)/3-day cume: $21.6M (+26%)/Total cume: $56.3M /Wk 2

5). Annie (Sony), 3,197 theaters (+81) /$6.26M Fri. (+18%)/3-day cume: $17.3M (+9%)/Total cume: $45.9M /Wk 2

6). The Hunger GamesMockingjay Part 1 (LGF),2,793 theaters (-381) /$3.67M Fri. (+61%)/3-day cume:$10.4M (+32%)/Total cume: $306.7M/Wk 6

7). The Gambler (Par), 2,478 theaters /$3.27M Fri./3-day cume: $8.4M/Total cume: $13.4M /Wk 1

8.) The Imitation Game (TWC), 747 theaters (+713) / $2.8M Fri. (+1,167%)/3-day cume:$7.9M (+821%) Total cume: $14.6M/ Wk 5

9). Exodus: Gods and Kings (FOX), 3,002 theaters (-501)/$2.23M Fri. (-2%)/3-day cume: $6.3M (-22%)/Total cume: $52.1M/Wk 3

10). Wild (FSL), 1,285 theaters (+224) / $1.76M Fri. (+48%)/3-day cume:$5.15M (+25%)/ Total cume: $16.1M /Wk 4


Big Eyes (TWC), 1,307 theaters /$964K Fri./3-day cume: $2.6M Total cume: $4M /Wk 1

Top Five (PAR), 1,426 theaters (+119) /$1.3M Fri. (+24%)/3-day cume: $3.407m (-5%)/ Total cume: $18.9M /Wk 3

The Interview (Sony), 331 theaters  / $612K Fri./3-day cume:$1.6M/Total cume: $2.7M/ Wk 1

Selma (Par), 19 theaters  / $214K Fri./3-day cume:$670k/$35,263 screen average/ Total cume: $992K / Wk 1

American Sniper (WB), 4 theaters / $189K Fri./3-day cume:$518K/$129,500K screen average/ Total cume: $758k/ Wk 1

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