Box Office: 'Into the Woods,' 'Unbroken' Prosper on Christmas Eve
'The Gambler' also rolls out in theaters across the country, while 'The Interview' opens in select markets
Disney's musical Into the Woods and Angelina Jolie's World War II drama Unbroken both prospered on Christmas Eve, earning $1.1 million and $850,000 in late-night grosses as they began rolling out across the country.
Unbroken began playing in 1,979 locations at 7 p.m. The film stars Jack O'Connell as war hero Louis Zamperini. The Universal film, which follows Zamperini as he's stranded in the ocean after a plane crash and then captured and tortured as a prisoner of war, is based on Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling biography. It's likely to earn in the high teens to possibly $20 million in its debut.
Into the Woods, an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical, also began playing in theaters at 7 p.m. and should do strong business over the holidays, aided by its star-studded cast, including Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp. As a way of comparison, Annie earned $360,000 in late-night grosses.
The Gambler, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Rupert Wyatt, also opens nationwide over the holiday, along with Tim Burton's Big Eyes, starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. Big Eyes, however, won't be playing in as many theaters as other Christmas Day releases. The film, from The Weinstein Co., centers on artist Margaret Keane (Adams), whose work was claimed by her then-husband, Walter Keane.
After several tumultuous weeks, Sony's The Interview will hit theaters in limited release in more than 300 theaters. The film was released online on Christmas Eve and in theaters around the nation on Christmas Day.
Holdover The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, which has earned $113.96 million domestically in its first eight days, is expected to do strong business again this weekend. Family films Annie and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which also debuted last weekend, should also benefit from the holiday weekend.