Box Office Preview: 'Hobbit,' 'Into the Woods,' 'Unbroken' Set to Ride High Into New Year
Relativity's horror sequel 'The Woman in Black 2' is this weekend's only new wide release
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Into the Woods and Unbroken are set to ring in 2015 in style with strong performances over the weekend, wrapping up the busy holiday moviegoing season.
It should be a close competition between the three holdovers, with The Hobbit in its third weekend after topping the box office for the past two weeks, and Unbroken and Into the Woods doing brisk business last weekend in their debuts.
Peter Jackson's final installment in his Hobbit franchise earned $40.9 million over the Christmas weekend, down only 25 percent from its opening weekend gross of $54.7 million. It also topped the Monday box office earning another $7.5 million for a new total of $175.6 million domestically. The New Line and MGM film has also been lording over the foreign box office with a worldwide total of $580.7 million worldwide to date. Insiders estimate it will earn $25 million-plus in its third weekend.
Disney's Into the Woods, featuring a star-studded cast including Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp and Anna Kendrick, slid ahead of other newcomer Unbroken last weekend with a $31.1 million debut. The film took in another $6.1 million Monday for second place and a new domestic cume of $52.3 million. The PG musical should continue to attract families over this holiday weekend, and is likely to earn around $20 million in its second week.
Unbroken, Angelina Jolie's film about the life of WWII prisoner of war Louis Zamperini, placed third on Monday with $5.2 million. The drama, starring Jack O'Connell, debuted last weekend with a solid $30.6 million and has earned $51.2 million domestically to date. It's likely to come in very close to Into the Woods this weekend, around the $20 million range in its second week.
Two other family films, Fox's Night at the Museum sequel and Sony's Annie, both in their third week, should round out the top five during this busy moviegoing time (The holiday window between Christmas and New Year's is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for theaters).
The other high-profile Christmas release, Sony's The Interview, has seen a sharp drop-off since its controversial release. While it earned $1.8 million in limited release in more than 300 indie theaters last weekend, it only took in a soft $270,000 Monday. The comedy, which was released after hackers threatened Sony and the safety of moviegoers, was also released digitally on Dec. 24.
Relativity's horror sequel The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death joins the crowded holiday field as this weekend's only new wide release. The follow-up to 2012's horror hit is likely to earn between $9 million and $11 million.
Woman in Black, starring Jeremy Irvine and Helen McCrory, will begin hitting theaters Thursday night beginning at 7 p.m., opening in 2,500 theaters this weekend. Relativity acquired the film, directed by Tom Harper, before Toronto for $1 million. Richard Jackson, Simon Oakes, Ben Holden and Tobin Armbrust produced the film.
The sequel is not expected to earn anywhere near the big numbers of the first film,The Woman in Black, which was a breakout hit when it opened in 2011. The Daniel Radcliffe-starrer earned $20.9 million in its February debut on its way to $127.7 million worldwide.
A Most Violent Year, starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, will kick off its limited release in four theaters in New York and L.A. A24 Films is releasing the film, which garnered Chastain a Globe nom, and will continue to expand in coming weeks.