Magazine article Screen International

Smaug Debuts Top in US on $74M

Magazine article Screen International

Smaug Debuts Top in US on $74M

Article excerpt

While the opening session of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug trailed the $84.6m debut of The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey exactly one year ago by roughly 13%, it was still good enough to deliver the third biggest December launch.

The session provided strength in depth, however, as the top 12 grossed 7% more than the comparable weekend in 2012.

Peter Jackson's fantasy epic from Warner Bros, New Line and MGM grossed $9.3m on 344 IMAX screens for roughly $27,000 per site. All 10 of the top North American venues were IMAX. The global IMAX haul amounted to $14.3m.

Factoring in the $131.2m international launch over the weekend, Smaug's worldwide haul has reached $205m after a single weekend. Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom lead the familiar cast.

Sony launched its fancied awards contender American Hustle - hot on the heels of its seven Golden Globe nominations - at number 15 on $690,000 from six venues for a sensational $115,000 per-site average.

The film will expand to 2,500 venues this week and is cued up to deliver a strong holiday season run as Academy members weigh up their likely nominees before they announce on January 16 2014.

David O Russell directed Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner in the Abscam tale about an FBI sting that took down a number of Congressman.

Disney launched its awards contender Saving Mr. Banks on $421,000 from 15 sites for a $28,067 average. The true-life drama earned Emma Thompson a best dramatic actress Globe nod last week and will expand to 2,200 sites this week for what should be a solid holiday run.

Disney's acclaimed animation Frozen fell one place to number two on $22.2m for $164.4m after two weekends, while Lionsgate released its urban audience moneyspinner Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas at number three on $16m.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ranks number four through Lionsgate after four weekends and stands at $356. …

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