You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Hobbit’ Finale Heading for $80 Million in First Five Days in U.S.

Giving the U.S. box office a badly needed boost, the finale of Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy is heading toward as much as $80 million in its first five days.

Friday estimates showed “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” taking in $14 million to $15 million at 3,875 locations on its third day.

That means “Five Armies” will also come out far ahead during  the pre-Christmas weekend over two new entries — Fox’s “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” which is headed for about $23 million to $26 million, and Sony’s reboot of “Annie” with about $20 million, although some Friday forecasts were far more bullish on “Annie.”

“Five Armies” marched to $34.4 million on Wednesday and Thursday. Its projected $80 million total — slightly above New Line’s recent guidance — would rank as the eighth-highest  opening of 2014.

If the numbers hold, “Five Armies” will come in about 35% lower than the $124 million in the first five days of 2003’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” the finale of Jackson’s first trilogy.

The previous “Hobbit” films debuted on Fridays. “An Unexpected Journey” grossed $84.6 million in 2012 on its first weekend, and “The Desolation of Smaug” took in $73.6 million in its initial weekend last year. The two Hobbit films went on to gross nearly $2 billion combined.

The impressive start for “Five Armies” should also dispel a bit of the gloom for the studios and exhibitors, who have seen U.S. box office fall 5% this year — and then had to deal with Sony’s decision to pull “The Interview” out of its Christmas release slot in the wake of terrorist threats.

Friday estimates for Fox’s “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” came in at $7.5 million, including a moderate $491,000 from 2,531 locations in latenight shows Thursday. The 2006 and 2009 versions of the franchise combined for nearly $1 billion worldwide.

Sony reported that “Annie” grossed $360,000 at 2,400 locations in latenight shows Thursday. The studio has maintained that the musical, starring Quvanzhane Wallis, should come in at around $15 million, but tracking on titles that appeal mainly to children has been unpredictable.

Friday estimates for “Annie” were around $7 million, indicating that the film — set in contemporary New York City — is headed for slightly above $20 million.

Fox’s second weekend of “Exodus: Gods and Kings” will battle for the fourth slot with Lionsgate’s fifth weekend of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” in the $10 million to $12 million range.

For “Exodus,” that would represent a decline of more than 50% and leave the Christian Bale religious tale with $42 million in 10 days. For “Mockingjay,” it would be an impressive hold of under 20% with a 31-day U.S. cume of $292 million — just $40 million short of the top domestic grosser, “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

UPDATE, 4:50 p.m. PST — An earlier version of the article incorrectly stated the opening five-day U.S. gross of “Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King.” The correct figure is $124.1 million.



More Film

  • Fig Tree review

    Palm Springs Reviews: 'Fig Tree'

    It’s a question integral to much of the current international immigration debate: When war breaks out, who gets to flee and who’s left with nowhere to run? As a child, writer-director Aalam-Warqe Davidian was among a majority of Ethiopian Jews who emigrated to Israel. In her loosely autobiographical feature debut, a teenager facing similar circumstances [...]

  • Jeff BridgesJeff Bridges, who stars in

    Film News Roundup: Jeff Bridges Wins American Society of Cinematographers Honor

    In today’s film news roundup, Jeff Bridges is honored by cinematographers, the “Arctic” filmmakers get a first-look deal and releases are set for “Vault,” the Seth Rogen-Charlize Theron comedy and “What Lies Ahead.” BRIDGES HONORED The American Society of Cinematographers has selected Jeff Bridges as the recipient of the organizations’ 2019 Board of Governors Award. [...]

  • Cate Blanchett's 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette'

    Cate Blanchett's 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' Moved Back to August

    Annapurna Pictures has moved its Richard Linklater literary adaptation “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” starring Cate Blanchett back five months from March 22 to an Aug. 9 release. A rep for Annapurna explained that August has served well as a launching pad for release of female-skewing films such as “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Florence Foster Jenkins” and [...]

  • Kumail Nanjiani Issa Rae

    Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae to Star in 'Lovebirds' Romantic Comedy

    “The Big Sick” star Kumail Nanjiani and “Insecure” star Issa Rae will topline Paramount’s romantic comedy “The Lovebirds.” The project will reunite Nanjiani with “The Big Sick” helmer Michael Showalter, who’s on board to direct from a script by Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall, and Martin Gero. The project goes into production at the end of [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized by the [...]

  • 'The Pledge' Review

    Film Review: 'Pledge'

    “Privilege comes with sacrifice” says one character to another in “Pledge” — exactly the kind of noble sentiment authority figures always voice to hush the protests of those about to be sacrificed. This third feature for director Daniel Robbins is no delicate flower of cinematic art, but a lean and mean shocker that tells its [...]

  • John Lithgow

    John Lithgow-Blythe Danner's 'Tomorrow Man' Bought Ahead of Sundance Premiere

    In one of the first deals for the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, Bleecker Street has acquired North American rights to the John Lithgow-Blythe Danner romance “The Tomorrow Man.” The movie will hold its world premiere at the fest, which opens on Jan. 24 in Park City, Utah. The distributor is planning a May 17 release. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content