There was a giant Christmas present waiting for Hollywood under the box office tree as Universal’s acclaimed musical Les Miserables posted the second biggest single-day Christmas debut ever with $18.1 million! This is second only to the $24.6 million 2009 Christmas day opening of the first installment of the Sherlock Holmes franchise (and that was on a Friday!). The opening puts Les Mis in the books, now holding the record for the biggest non-weekend Christmas Day opening in history and also the highest ever opening day for a musical.
If that was not enough to bring good cheer, Weinstein Co.’s latest Tarantino blood-fest Django Unchained, posted the third biggest X-mas day debut with $15.01 million and Warner Bros.’ The Hobbit which in its twelve day of release grabbed up another $11.3 million bringing its total to $168.3 million.
In fourth place with $6.3 million was the debut of Fox’s PG-rated family comedy Parental Guidance starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. Revving in to spot number five was the Tom Cruise action vehicle Jack Reacher with $5.3 million in its fifth day of release bringing its total to $23.25 million.
This was an incredibly solid mid-week Christmas day performance with the overall day generating over $73 million and the wide diversity of film genres (from musicals to action to comedy) creating a movie-going Christmas cookie sugar high that saw the nation’s multiplexes as the main post-gift giving destination. This further solidifies our projection of a record-breaking overall box office year as we expect $10.8 billion in revenues through New Year’s Eve.
Take a look at the top Christmas Day openings of all time:
1. Sherlock Holmes
2. Les Miserables
3. Django Unchained
4. Marley and Me
5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
6. Bedtime Stories
8. Catch Me If You Can
9. Alien vs. Predator - Requiem
11. Cheaper By the Dozen
12. Patch Adams
13. War Horse
14. It's Complicated
15. Parental Guidance
[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]