Middle-earth reigned supreme once again at the box office, but plenty of Christmas releases made good money.
In at number 1 is The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies with $41.4 million. Although the final film in the trilogy only dropped 40% from last weekend, it's a relatively mediocre showing by comparison. Return of the King, for example, dropped 30% in its second weekend and that was not over a Christmas holiday.
Nevertheless, business is still booming for The Hobbit 3. The film has grossed $168 million domestic and $573 million worldwide over the past few weeks.
Unbroken (read our review) comes in at number 2 with $31.7 million. Angelina Jolie's second directorial effort fared much better than her first film, In the Land of Blood and Honey, which grossed less than $1 million total.
In fact, Unbroken was the clear holiday winner among new releases, tallying $47 million since its Christmas Day opening. Look for this one to hold strong for the next few weeks, as awards season buzz continues to build.
Not far behind is Into the Woods (read our review) with $31 million. That's the third best debut for a musical, behind High School Musical 3 and Enchanted, and a solid debut for Disney over the holidays.
It's unclear what was Into the Woods' biggest selling point – the cast, the musical, or the Disney brand – but it seems pretty clear that the film is a hit. The only question is whether it can sustain a deep run in the coming weeks.
Coming in at number 4 is Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb with $20.6 million. The family friendly sequel actually saw a 21% uptick from last weekend, despite dropping two spots in the top 10. Now at $55 million total, look for Night at the Museum 3 to finish north of $100 million domestic.
Rounding out the top 5 is Annie with $16.6 million. The 2014 update of the classic musical is now up to $45 million, but should fall slightly short of $100 million total.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is the number 6 film with $10 million. The penultimate Hunger Games film is inching closer to Guardians of the Galaxy's top spot with $306 million and doing excellent business worldwide with $669 million.
In at number 7 is The Gambler (read our review) with $9.3 million. Mark Wahlberg's remake of the 1974 James Caan flick did poor business over the holiday, grossing only $14 million since Christmas. Although Wahlberg is plenty capable of carrying a successful film that was not the case with The Gambler. Weak reviews and a not-so-family-friendly premise likely hurt this one's chances.
Coming in at number 8 is The Imitation Game with $7.9 million. The Alan Turing biopic saw a major bump after expanding over the holiday and is now up to $14 million.
The number 9 film this weekend is Exodus: Gods and Kings with $6.7 million. Ridley Scott's big budget biblical epic is up to $52 million domestic and $148 million worldwide.
Rounding out the top 10 is Wild with $5.4 million. Reese Witherspoon's awards contender is now up to $16 million over 4 weeks.
Outside the top 10: Tim Burton's Big Eyes (read our review) opened with a paltry $2.9 million on about 1,300 screens; American Sniper made its Oscar qualifying debut and grossed a whopping $610,000 on only four screens; and Selma followed suit with $590,000 on 19 screens.
And finally, The Interview (read our review) grossed $1.8 million during its limited theatrical run. The controversial film also added $15 million in digital downloads, making it an unconventional success.
[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, December 28th - at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo