Though several films – including Quentin Tarantino’s latest, a famous musical adaptated for the screen and a family comedy featuring Billy Crystal – were released on or around Christmas, none of the new arrivals could challenge The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Peter Jackson’s return visit to Middle-earth made $32.9 million this weekend at the US box office, sailing past the $200 million mark across the pond and now creeping up on $700 million worldwide after 17 days on release.
Still QT’s Django Unchained pulled in a remarkable $30.6 million ($64 million in total given the early release), all the more impressive given the film’s controversial and violent style. It overcame Les Miserables’ very positive buzz, though Tom Hooper and his cast have nothing to be sad about, as the musical made $28 million ($67.4 million when you factor in the week days before the weekend).
And Parental Guidance, which sees Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as grandparents who find their child-management styles clashing with that of their daughter and son-in-law, survived a critical mauling to earn $14.8 million ($29.5 million with the week days’ tally).
Jack Reacher dropped to fifth place, earning $14 million, while This Is 40 sipped to sixth with $13.1 million. Lincoln was down two places in seventh, making $7.5 million, ahead of The Guilt Trip, which took in $6.7 million. The weekend’s other dose of Billy Crystal (albeit only his voice) happened thanks to Monsters, Inc, which made $6.3 million via its 3D re-release. That was more than Rise Of The Guardians could manage, as the DreamWorks’ toon shed nearly a thousand screens from its tally and fell from fourth to 10th. Still, not a dreadful result given that it’s been out for six weeks now.
To see a bounty hunter track down dwarves across the charts, head to Box Office Mojo.