While The Hobbit topped the box office for the second straight weekend with $36.7 million (for a total of $149.8 million), a host of newcomers fought over the leftovers this Christmas weekend.
Tom Cruise in the R-rated action drama Jack Reacher wound up with a fairly soft (for Cruise) with $15.6 million over the weekend with a second place finish. The "sort of sequel to Knocked Up," This is 40 starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann which also grabbed a $12 million gross for a third place finish, while Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in the maternal buddy road movie The Guilt Trip (which opened with a less than stellar $1,029,734 on Wednesday) finished the weekend with a $5.4 million gross.
Along with these two live action films is the Disney/Pixar re-release of the wildly popular animated family film Monsters Inc in 3D at $5 million as a great option for families who have had only Rise of the Guardians and Wreck-It Ralph to satisfy their movie-going needs. Rise of the Guardians and Lincoln struggled to grab those fourth and fifth spots and make their marks this weekend with $5.9 and $5.6 million, respectively.
Zero Dark Thirty had a phenomenal launch in limited release in five theaters, taking $410 k this weekend with a per location average of $82k. This brings the film's total to date is $639k since its Wednesday debut.
This, the second-to-last weekend of the year will kick off what is typically one of the strongest weeks of the year in movie theaters (in 2009 when Sherlock Holmes & Avatar dominated, the final week generated a record $500 million). This year offers a crowded and comparatively slow marketplace dominated by The Hobbit, while offering a plethora of choices for the moviegoer. No matter, since the box office year of 2012 will finish on Dec. 31 with record revenues of around $10.8 billion.
[Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures]