Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it)
Photo Credit: S & A
Box Office

Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it)

nullWith all the

recent brouhaha regarding Sony’s "The Interview," it was easy to

forget that the studio had a major film opening this weekend. The film, of

course, is their “reboot” of the musical "Annie" with Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane

Wallis. Its $16.3  million

opening places it in third place, giving the studio some small comfort this

week. It could use any good news that it can get.

Granted, that

may seem like a not-so-impressive opening for the reported $65 million film, but,

considering it was going up against the (Thank God) third and final installment

of the interminable "Hobbit" trilogy, "The Battle of the Five Armies," and the (Thank God)

third and final sequel to the "Night at the Museum" films, "Annie" did pretty well

for itself.

And also, the

fact that, despite the lousy reviews it’s gotten, it’s the only new film out this season that is

aimed specifically at children, the film could very well do steady

business, staying in the top ten for weeks.

Chris Rock’s

"Top Five," however, took a big hit, dropping some 48% from last week, meaning the film

is running out of gas fast. Perhaps Paramount got carried away with all the

praise the film had been getting since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and

rushed the film out too soon, releasing it during holiday film season, where it

would be passed over. It might have been better if they had held up the release until next spring, with a wide opening on 1500-1700 screens.

One major reason

for the fast release was the mistaken belief by the studio, from all the hype the film was getting, that the film could be

a real Oscar contender, which, of course, it isn’t, and never was, and I’ll bet that

Rock himself never thought it was. As some box office analyst said today, “Paramount blew this one BIG time!”

The Hobbit,

not surprisingly, was No. 1, raking in some $56 million, with a $90 million take since the film opened on Wednesday, followed by "Night at the Museum: Secret

of the Tomb," which came in second place with $17.3 million.

As for last

week’s No. 1, "Exodus: Gods and Kings," it took a big drop of 66.6%, with

just $8 million. Whether it was the bad word-of-mouth, the boycott, both or

whatever, it’s toast.

The

unexpected surprise (though, it actually isn’t)

is the top ten finish for the Bollywood fantasy film, "PK," with an impressive $3.5 million on just 272 screens. The film is yet

another example of a Bollywood film released in the U.S. that gets no notice at

all by the media or general public at large, but does excellent b.o. by by-passing

the usual expected marketing strategies to attract a large crossover audience,

and concentrating instead on marketing the film to a clearly defined, specific audience

outside the usual channels and media outlets.

If you’re

curious what "PK" looks like, you can check out the trailer below which has gotten over 9 million hits in YouTube already:

1) The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies  WB  $56,220,000  Total: $90,627,000 

2) Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb  Fox  $17,300,000 

3) Annie Sony  $16,300,000 

4) Exodus: Gods and Kings  Fox  $8,065,000  Total: $38,902,000 

5) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1  LGF  $7,750,000  Total: $289,227,000 

6) Wild FoxS  $4,150,000 Total: $7,211,000 

7) Top Five  Par.  $3,570,000  Total: $12,456,000 

8) Big Hero 6  BV  $3,563,000  Total: $190,441,000 

9) Penguins of Madagascar  Fox  $3,525,000  Total: $64,172,000 

10) P.K.  UTV  $3,500,000 

11) Interstellar  Par.  $2,600,000  Total: $171,433,000 

12) Horrible Bosses 2  WB  $2,175,000  Total: $47,750,000

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