WINNER OF THE WEEK: Bilbo Baggins. You know, most people won't admit to being Tolkien geeks. Yet we spent billions of dollars watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy a decade ago, and now we've made The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey the top movie for three straight weeks. We spent an estimated $32.9 million on Hobbit tickets this weekend, down a negligible 11 percent from last week, for a three-week total of $222.7 million domestic and another $400.0 million from overseas. It can't just be hardcore Middle-earth aficionados. There's a lot of secret Hobbitheads out there. C'mon, fess up, you furtive, furry-footed film fanatics.
...Les Miserables (whose $18.1 million debut on Tuesday marked the second-biggest Christmas Day opening ever, exceeded only by the $24.6 million Sherlock Holmes earned in 2009), Django Unchained (whose $15 million Christmas Day opening was outstanding for an ultraviolent, R-rated film), and Parental Guidance (which premiered with $6.3 million on December 25th). Those three continued to excel over the weekend, with Django unchaining an estimated $30.7 (for a six-day total of $64.0 million) to finish in second place for the weekend, followed closely by Les Miz, with an estimated $28.0 million from Friday to Sunday and $67.5 million overall. Family comedy Parental Guidance did better than expected, finishing fourth for the weekend with an estimated $14.8 million and $29.6 million to date.
Even the holdovers did well. Fifth-place Jack Reacher was just a hair behind Guidance, with an estimated $14.0 million from Friday to Sunday and a two-weekend total of $44.6 million. The next four movies on the chart (This Is 40, Lincoln, The Guilt Trip, and Monsters, Inc.) all saw business boosted well above last week's totals. (Lincoln was especially impressive, posting a 35 percent gain even though it's been playing for two months and just lost 17 percent of its screens.)
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