Golden Globes weekend was kind to several awards contenders, but there was only one big winner at the box office this weekend.
In at number 1 is Lone Survivor (read our review) with $38.5 million. Analysts predicted the film would win the weekend handily, but Lone Survivor blew past all projections on its way to the second highest January opening of all time, behind only Cloverfield ($40 million).
In many cases, smart marketing and perfect timing generate box office success, and Lone Survivor is proof of that formula. And while Lone Survivor won't come away with any Golden Globes hardware tonight (it received zero nominations despite solid reviews), the film is certainly this weekend's big winner.
Coming in at number 2 is Frozen with $15 million. This Disney Animation Studios film, which is now at $317 million, has spent 8 weeks at or near the top spot and grossed $712 million worldwide. Frozen should finish as the 4th highest grossing film of 2013.
The Wolf of Wall Street is the number 3 film this weekend with $9 million. ($78.5 million total U.S. gross). One of the only award show contenders not to increase its theater count heading into the weekend, The Wolf of Wall Street is still holding well thanks to continued talk over its depiction of Jordan Belfort (played by one of this year's Globes contenders, Leonardo DiCaprio).
In at number 4 is The Legend of Hercules (read our review) with $8.6 million. We can't say we're surprised to see the film open so poorly, but there was hope this would be a so-bad-it's-good situation.
Unfortunately, The Legend of Hercules is simply a bad movie, one that is emblematic of the films typically dumped in January. The film has no chance of catching its $70 million budget, let alone turning a profit.
Rounding out the top 5 is American Hustle with $8.6 million as well (for a total just under $102 million in the U.S.). David O. Russell's film about the ABSCAM scandal upped its theater count, but didn't see much additional return. That could change next weekend, though, especially if the film nabs some Golden Globe awards and/or a few Oscar nominations.
The number 6 film this weekend is The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug with $8 million. Now at $242 million and still trending downward, there is little hope that Desolation will catch its predecessor's $303 million domestic total, which would make it the lowest grossing Lord of the Rings or Hobbit film to-date. On the global front, however, the film is still doing gangbusters, and is now up to $808 million worldwide.
Coming in at number 7 is August: Osage County with $7.3 million. This is another case of an awards season expansion done right, as the film jumped up 5,000% after increasing its theater count to 905 screens. August: Osage County has grossed $7.8 million after three weeks.
Saving Mr. Banks is the number 8 film with $6.5 million, which brings its domestic total up to $68 million. Strong word of mouth has kept this one in the top 10 and helped it far surpass its $35 million budget.
In at number 9 is Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones with $6.3 million. Although we are used to seeing PA films drop off substantially in week 2, it's usually not by this much. Clearly the franchise is waning with audiences, even though this spin-off entry is reportedly worth seeing. The Marked Ones is at $28 million total.
Rounding out the top 10 is Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues with $6.1 million. The continued adventures of Ron Burgundy has more than doubled its $50 million budget with $118 million thus far and surpassed its predecessor by a wide margin.
Outside the top 10: several awards show contenders increased their theater counts this weekend and saw some sizeable revenue increases. The two most noteworthy examples are Inside Llewyn Davis, which pulled in $1.8 million and saw a 74% increase, and the unconventional love story Her (read our review), which jumped up 600% and took in $6.1 million. It's worth pointing out that, although Her saw a big uptick, its per screen average of $3,129 was pretty pedestrian.
It's also worth mentioning that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire finally eclipsed Iron Man 3 for the title of highest grossing 2013 release with $413 million. The studio heads at Lionsgate are likely licking their chops knowing that two more Hunger Games films are set for this year and the next.
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates - based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, January 12th - at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo