Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holiday Box Office Update: No Contest

The final installment of Peter Jackson's trilogy film adaptation of author J. R. R. Tolkien's book--The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies stormed the US box office to land firmly in the top spot

While the sequel Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and the Annie remake were decimated...Sony Pictures says "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow"....

Pamela McClintock of THR:

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opened to a massive $90.6 million in North America, while Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie both suffered soft starts as the crucial year-end holidays got underway.

Five Armies prospered in its five-day debut, including a weekend tally of $56.2 million. Box-office comparisons to the previous Hobbit films aren't exactly parallel as the first two came out on Fridays, but The Desolation of Smaug launched to $73.6 million last year, while An Unexpected Journey opened to $84.6 million in 2012.

From New line and MGM, Five Armies appeared to make life impossible for Fox's Secret of the Tomb and Annie, which is Sony's lone holiday release now that The Interview has been pulled from its Dec. 25 slot.

Secret of the Tomb, reteaming director Shawn Levy and Ben Stiller, opened to a troubled $17.3 million, a franchise low, while Annie came in at $16.3 million. If there's any solace, it's that December openings can have stronger multiples because of the year-end holidays.

The hack-embattled Sony needs a win, and says it couldn't be happier with Annie's performance. The adaptation of the iconic Broadway musical stars Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx and was produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z.

"This is an incredible start for us on a very crowded weekend, and sets us up beautifully for the holidays," said Josh Greenstein, Sony's newly installed president of worldwide marketing and distribution. "Annie is a big win for the studio. We stayed focused and rallied around this film to get it out into the world."

Annie did open in line with pre-release tracking. However, Secret of the Tomb came in well behind expectations.

Some question whether there has been too long of a gap between the threequel and the last installment, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, which debuted to $70 million over the long Memorial Day weekend in 2009. The first Night at the Museum film debuted to $30.4 million when it opened in December 2006.

On Christmas Day--No less than 7 high profile films are set to begin their run:

The Clint Eastwood-directed biopic "American Sniper" is based upon U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's autobiography--Jason Dean Hall wrote the adapted script about Texas native Kyle (Bradley Cooper) who came to record the highest number of sniper kills (255)for an American. The book is a frank first-person account and includes passages from his wife who slowly watches her husband’s affection turn from her to his job. Tragically, this true American hero was killed by a fellow veteran at a shooting range in February 2013.

The Angelina Jolie-directed biopic"Unbroken" is based on author Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 bestselling biography, that chronicles the life of Olympic athlete Louis Zamperin ("Skins" and "Eden Lake" star Jack O'Connell). He was captured by the Japanese navy during  World War II and detained at a P.O.W. camp. That came AFTER he survived both a near-fatal plane crash and being stuck on a raft for 47 days. Zamperini died on July 2nd 2014 at the age of 97.

Tim Burton's comedic drama biopic "Big Eyes" will tell the story of Margaret and Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams), the artists whose work, especially paintings of doe-eyed children, became a pop-culture phenomenon in the 1950s and 1960s. However their home life was anything but perfect. Margaret was the artist but her husband took all the credit. During the their divorce they fought over the rights to their work with Margaret eventually winning the dispute- painting a picture in federal court to prove she was the one responsible for the work.

The historical drama Selma--directed by Ava DuVernay follows Martin Luther King Jr‘s (David Oyelowo) historic voting rights campaign that occurred at the height of the Civil Rights Movement.

Disney's film adaptation of the classic 1980s Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical Into the Woods tells the story of a baker (James Corden) and his wife’s (Emily Blunt) attempt to have a family, but uses several classic fairy tale characters, such as Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Rapunzel (Stage and soap actress MacKenzie Mauzy) and Little Red Riding Hood, to enhance the story. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall called action.

The  long gestating remake of the James Caan-led 1974 crime drama "The Gambler" stars Mark Wahlberg in the title role. Martin Scorsese was once attached to call action and then "The Hangover" and "Old School" director Todd Phillips circled the picture. Now "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" director Rupert Wyatt is in line to helm the project from a script by William Monahan ("The Departed").

A modern reworking of the Book of Job, the film Leviathan is set on a peninsula by the Barents Sea and tells the story of a man () who struggles against a corrupt mayor who wants his piece of land

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