The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the victor of the holiday season box office: The film has nabbed the No. 1 spot for three weekends in a row.
The Hobbit is following in the footsteps of its predecessors — both movies also spent three consecutive weeks as the box office winner — but its numbers aren’t as impressive. While An Unexpected Journey made $31.9 million its third weekend and The Desolation of Smaug $29 million, The Battle of the Five Armies made $21.9 million.
Though a third-weekend total of $21.9 million isn’t disappointing by most standards — Unbroken and Into the Woods didn’t even reach the $20 million mark in their second weekends — it does show that the appetite for The Hobbit has weakened, however slightly, over time.
Unbroken and Into the Woods, two films that opened Christmas day and spent their first weekend nearly tied at the box office, were close once again: Into the Woods took the number two spot with $19.1 million while Unbroken hovered close behind with $18.4 million — meaning both dropped by just about 40 percent.
As for new releases, horror flick The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death outperformed by earning $15.1 million, over $5 million more than expected by forecasters. The first Woman in Black also outperformed when, in 2012, it opened with $20.8 million, but the sequel wasn’t expected to do as well because of its lack of star-power and because of the presence of so many other buzzed-about options available in theaters. But these other options probably ended up working in The Woman in Black 2‘s favor. Horror fans haven’t had much to see in cinemas since Halloween time, so this sequel was probably the answer to scary-movie cravings that Into the Woods, for instance, couldn’t sate.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, the latest family-friendly favorite, rounded out the top five with $14.5 million. The Ben Stiller film has made $137.5 million to date — enough to break even with the movie’s $127 million budget.
1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies — $21.9 million
2. Into the Woods — $19.1 million
3. Unbroken — $18.4 million
4. The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death — $15.1 million
5. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb — $14.5 million
Although Night at the Museum and Annie opened the same weekend, the former has been a step ahead of the musical remake since day one: Annie took the No. 6 spot with $11.4 million this weekend.
As for smaller releases, the Clint Eastwood-directed Bradley Cooper film American Sniper brought in a stunning $640,000 in its second weekend from only four locations. Crime drama A Most Violent Year also played in just four locations, but made a less eye-opening $188,000 debut.