Like all of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth-set films, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies reigned over the box office for three consecutive weekends. Despite having the largest week-to-week drop in the Top 10, Jackson’s epic finale grossed an estimated $21.9 million in its third frame, upping its total to a hefty $220.8 million after 19 days. Its 46% drop during the first weekend of 2014 was the same as The Desolation of Smaug‘s over the New Year’s frame last year.
While The Battle of the Five Armies continues to do well and should ultimately surpass Smaug domestically, it will not be by much. Expect a final in the neighborhood of $265 million in North America, with a total of nearly $1 billion in store worldwide.
Meanwhile, Christmas Day openers Into the Woods and Unbroken continued their close race for second place. When actuals were reported last Monday, Into the Woods‘ take over the holiday weekend was a mere $400,000 ahead of Unbroken‘s. The films are still performing within $1 million of each other over the weekend, as Into the Woods dropped 39% to take in $19.1 million this weekend, while Unbroken fell 40% to earn another $18.4 million.
As it currently stands, Into the Woods is well positioned to become one of the top five highest-grossing musicals in North American history, and should surpass the $127.8 million take of Disney’s Enchanted. The film is performing only slightly behind Les Miserables, which earned $92.4 million in its first 11 days. The musical’s family appeal has earned it healthy weekday grosses over the holidays and it should continue to hold up well in 2015, finishing with a total of around $135-$140 million, depending on how many Golden Globe wins or Oscar nominations it receives.
Despite its third place finish, Unbroken has performed very well for a movie without a notable cast, limited awards buzz and mixed reviews. In 11 days, the film has already outgrossed Fury‘s $84.7 million from earlier this fall, as well as the finals of two war dramas that also opened on Christmas Day, Valkyrie ($83.1 million) and War Horse ($79.9 million). Its mixed critical reviews signal that it may not be an awards winner like Django Unchained, which Unbroken has performed similarly to since it opened. Even if it does not land a Best Picture nomination, the film should finish with a total above $130 million, which will definitely make director Angelina Jolie happy.