Disney’s star-studded movie musical “Into the Woods” has launched solidly with $1.1 million in Christmas Eve shows in North America.
That figure is far ahead of the Dec. 18 latenight opening for Sony’s musical “Annie,” which opened with $360,000, and just behind Disney’s animated “Big Hero 6” at $1.4 million. “Into the Woods” expands into 2,440 theaters on Christmas Day.
The cast includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Daniel Huttlestone, Tracey Ullman and Christine Baranski. Rob Marshall directed “Into the Woods,” based on the Stephen Sondheim musical first launched in 1986.
Box office trackers expect “Into the Woods” to finish the four-day Christmas weekend with $26 million to $29 million domestically.
Universal’s war drama “Unbroken” also launched respectably with $850,000 in Christmas Eve showings at 1,979 North American theaters. Universal is expanding “Unbroken” into 3,131 locations on Christmas Day.
Two other films are opening — Sony’s controversial “The Interview” at more than 300 locations and the Weinstein Co.’s “Big Eyes” at 1,307.
Additonally, Sony began streaming “The Interview” on Wednesday via four digital platforms — an unprecedented step for a major film.
New Line-MGM’s second weekend of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” looks likely to come out on top in the $30 million to $35 million range. “Five Armies” took in $6 million at 3,875 locations on Christmas Eve to lift its eight-day U.S. total to $114 million.