Weekend box office: The Hobbit holds off Jack Reacher and This Is 40

Weekend box office: Martin Freeman, James Nesbitt and John Callen in The Hobbit

After a few slow weeks at the weekend box office, things picked up last weekend when THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (click the title links to read our reviews on the films)hit theaters and the film continued strong, beating out all newcomers.  It looks like Tom Cruise’s JACK REACHER will flirt with $20 million for the weekend, which seems a little disappointing for such a good film.  However, it was a crowded weekend and the film is getting some great word of mouth, so it should still end up doing well.  The other big movie of the weekend was Judd Apatow’s KNOCKED UP sort-of sequel, THIS IS 40.  The film will finish in third place, which isn’t bad for an R-rated comedy about parenthood and turning 40.  I found it to be a hilarious film and I’m guessing it will do better when it hits Blu-ray.

On Christmas, we see the wide opening of the highly anticipated DJAGO UNCHAINED and LES MISERABLES, along with the delayed wide release of THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK.  LES MISERABLES has already set some high marks on advance ticket sales, so that could open huge with family outings.  I’m guessing DJANGO UNCHAINED won’t have as much luck attracting the family crowd and could struggle at the box office.  Fans will love it, but I’m not sure it has the wide appeal needed for box office glory.  As for THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, I think it missed its chance to go wide and now people aren’t looking for it.  Note: the numbers below will be updated as they become final.

1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $36.7m

2. Jack Reacher $15.6m

3. This is 40 $12m

4. Rise of the Guardians $5.9m

5. Lincoln $5.7m

6. The Guilt Trip $5.3m

7. Monsters Inc 3D $5m

8. Skyfall $4.7m

9. Life of Pi $3.8m

10. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 $2.6m

(Deadline)

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