Friday Report: 'Hobbit' Finale Conquers Friday Box Office
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies dominated the box office on Friday, while Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie essentially tied for second place.

The final installment in the Hobbit trilogy added $16.58 million yesterday, which brings its three-day total to $51 million. It was up 67 percent from Thursday, which is a bigger jump than any of the Lord of the Rings movies had at the same point.

For the three-day weekend, Battle of the Five Armies should earn at least $50 million. That would translate in to a five-day opening at $85-million-plus, which is a very solid result.

Playing at 3,785 locations, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opened to an estimated $5.63 million on Friday. That's a fairly disappointing number for this big-budget threequel: in contrast, the first Night at the Museum earned $12.1 million on opening day back in December 2006. This opening puts Secret of the Tomb on track for less than $20 million this weekend.

Annie (2014) took third place on Friday with an estimated $5.3 million, which is a good start for the family musical. A good comparison is Saving Mr. Banks, which earned $3.1 million on the same day last year. The movie will take in at least $16 million for the three-day frame, which sets it up nicely heading in to the holiday.

In fourth place, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 was off 39 percent to an estimated $2.28 million. Considering how much competition it faced—and how many screens it likely lost—that's a very good hold. Mockingjay has so far earned $283.8 million, and remains on pace to wind up with over $325 million total.

In contrast, Exodus: Gods and Kings had a rough day on Friday; the movie added $2.28 million, which is off a whopping 74 percent from its opening day. That drop is in the same ballpark as The Golden Compass (70 percent) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (75 percent), which isn't encouraging for the movie's long-term prospects. To date, Exodus has earned $33.1 million, and it now appears like it may struggle to reach $70 million by the end of its run.

After two weeks in limited release, Wild (2014) expanded to 1,061 locations and earned $1.18 million on Friday. For the weekend, it should finish with at least $3.5 million.

Weekend Projections

1. The Hobbit - $52 million

2. Night at the Museum - $18 million

3. Annie - $16 million

4. Mockingjay - $8 million

5. Exodus - $7.9 million

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Related Charts:

Grosses for Friday, December 19, 2014

• 2014 Domestic Box Office