Friday Report: 'Hobbit' Spooks 'Woman in Black' Sequel

by Ray Subers
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

January 3, 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies held on to first place on Friday, though it did face unexpectedly tough competition from The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death.

The final installment in the Hobbit trilogy added $8.38 million, which was off 46 percent from the previous Friday. To date, the movie has earned $207.2 million. For the three-day weekend, its on track to earn at least $22 million.

In a close second place, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death opened to an estimated $7.75 million. That's lower than last January's Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones ($8.7 million), and also a tad below the original Woman in Black ($8.3 million).

This looks like a good opening, though of course looks could be deceiving. The last three horror movies to open on the first weekend of January were all incredibly front-loaded: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Texas Chainsaw 3D and The Devil Inside all earned at least 25 percent of their total on opening day. If The Woman in Black 2 follows this pattern as well, it will wind up with less than $30 million.

In third place, Into the Woods added an estimated $7.46 million (off 39 percent), which projects out to at least $18 million for the weekend. To date, the Disney musical has taken in $79.6 million.

Angelina Jolie's Unbroken took fourth place with an estimated $7.4 million, which brings its total to $76.8 million (just below Woods). For the three-day frame, Unbroken will likely move up to second place with around $19 million.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
rounded out the Top Five with $5.93 million. The third installment in the family-friendly franchise has now earned $81.2 million. Meanwhile, Annie (2014) added $4.57 million for a new total of $65.8 million.

In eighth place, The Imitation Game earned an estimated $2.95 million, which is up two percent from last Friday. By the end of the weekend, it should be past $30 million total.

Playing at four locations, American Sniper added $234,000 on Friday. That's actually up five percent from the previous week. For the three-day weekend, it should average at least $150,000 per theater, which will easily set a new record for a live-action movie.

A quick note regarding weekend projections: while Friday, January 2nd is technically a work day, it is sandwiched between a holiday (New Year's Day) and a weekend. As a result, nearly everyone takes off from work that day, which translates in to bigger-than-usual attendance at movie theaters. What this also means is that Friday will account for a bigger share of the weekend box office (looking at past examples, it should be at least 37 percent).

Weekend Projections

1. The Hobbit - $23 million
2. Unbroken - $19 million
3. Into the Woods - $18.5 million
4. Woman in Black 2 - $16.5 million
5. Night at the Museum - $15 million

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Grosses for Friday, January 2, 2015
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