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Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey reclaimed the top spot at the North American box office Thursday, bumping Tom Hooper‘s Les Miserables to No. 2.
Hobbit, from New Line and MGM, took in $10.1 million for a domestic total of $189.8 million. The fantasy-adventure is expected to cross the $200 million mark Friday in North America, while it earned another $26 million internationally on Thursday for a worldwide cume of $562.8 million.
Universal’s Les Mis, which scored the second-best Christmas Day opening of all time, captured the No. 1 spot on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, the film adaptation of the hit stage musical — touting an ensemble cast led by Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe, declined 25 percent from Wednesday to $9.1 million, pushing its domestic total to $39.4 million.
Les Mis, playing in only eight international markets so far, earned $3.8 million overseas on Thursday for a foreign total of $32.2 million and a worldwide total of $71.6 million.
STORY: Christmas Box Office: ‘Les Miserables,’ ‘Django Unchained’ Break Records
Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained held steady at No. 3 in North America, falling 17 percent to $8.3 million. From the Weinstein Co., the R-rated pic now has earned $33.3 million domestically. Django stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kerry Washington.
Staying put at No. 4 was 20th Century Fox’s family-friendly comedy Parental Guidance, dipping a narrow 4 percent to $4.1 million and putting its domestic total at $14.8 million. The film starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei has done better than expected.
Les Mis, Django and Parental Guidance are in relatively good shape as they head into the weekend, which is expected to be a strong frame for moviegoing. Hobbit — the only all-quadrant tentpole of the year-end holidays — has a strong shot of staying at No. 1 for the weekend.
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Overall, the crush of Christmas films has delivered mixed results. Hollywood rolled out no fewer than eight nationwide release between Dec. 19 and Dec. 25, an unprecedented number that doesn’t include Hobbit, which debuted Dec. 14).
The weekend will help determine the fate of Tom Cruise starrer Jack Reacher, which opened Dec. 21 and has been holding at No. 5 since Christmas Day. The PG-13 Paramount movie, based Lee Child‘s popular book series about a tough former military cop, grossed an estimated $3.5 million Thursday, pushing its domestic total to $30.7 million.
Judd Apatow‘s R-rated comedy This Is 40 has been soft since opening Dec. 21. Holding at No. 6 since Christmas, the movie grossed $3.1 million on Thursday for a domestic total of $23.9 million.
Barbra Streisand–Seth Rogen comedy The Guilt Trip, from Paramount, is the third Christmas comedy after Parental Guidance and This Is 40. Opening on Dec. 19, the film’s domestic total through Thursday was a scant $14.4 million.
Guilt Trip isn’t the only holiday flop. Disney’s 3D rerelease of Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. has underwhelmed since its Dec. 19 release, grossing an estimated $12.1 million through Thursday.
Andrew Adamson’s Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away also has failed to find its footing at the box office. Worlds Away, opening in select theaters on Dec. 21, expanded nationwide on Christmas Day. The film grossed $652,000 from 854 theaters Thursday for a domestic total of $4.9 million.
Kathryn Bigelow’s controversial film Zero Dark Thirty remained the headline at the specialty box office Thursday, grossing an estimated $96,751 from five theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a screen average of $19,350, the highest of any film. The movie, which Sony is distributing domestically, now has grossed $1.1 million. Zero Dark Thirty expands into additional markets next week before going nationwide Jan. 11.
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