It was a battle for the box office crown that has a curve ball this time around, so beware. The new release, "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" opened early and that means it needs to be split into two categories.
One for the three-day usual weekend take and then the overall, five-day number for that film.
On that note, taking in the usual three-day battle with "The Hobbit: Desolation of the Smaug," the victor is the reigning champ. Add in the five-day, then the headlines may read something else. The latest Hobbit adventure also wins the battle of longer letters in its name. As for the battle of Bedford Falls, that goes to George Bailey. Huh?
Never mind, it's holiday time and "It's a Wonderful Life" aired on NBC over the weekend, too. But, let's move on.
"Anchorman 2" took in $26.7 million for the three-day weekend and it was close all weekend long.
Some may opt for the blazing headlines that "Anchorman 2" has a whopping $40 million, but that is somewhat deceiving since that is for five. The true head-to-head contest had "The Hobbit" holding on and beating "Anchorman 2."
1. "The Hobbit: Desolation of the Smaug" - $31.4 million
2. NEW: "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" - (three-day, $26.7 million ); (five-day, $40 million)
3. "Frozen" - $19.16 million
4. "American Hustle" - $19.10
5. "Saving Mr. Banks" - $9.3 million
NEW: "Walking With Dinosaurs" - $7.3 million
NEW: "Dhoom 3" - $3.3 million
"Anchorman 2" plays out as a comedy but also seems like those in it have more fun than many seeing it. When a comedy such as this gets rolling, too much can be added in an attempt to cash in on the hype and popularity. And when filming, certain bits may sound like a good idea at the time, but do not translate well to the mass audience. An inside industry joke or an improv move added to these could easily be left out, and should be. While funny at times, it plays more of a vehicle for ego comedy.
Plus, the marketing overkill was just too much. Honestly, though, getting it out earlier meant it would be talked about as the week progressed. Now that the weekend is over, perhaps not. A real test will be its second week to see if those who wanted to see went already, or holiday vacationers come out. It has the demographics for that working in its favor. This is a film that will get people in, then will not have people talking about it the next day. The staying comedy element is just not here.
"American Hustle," while getting a great deal of marketing hype now, understands its purpose more because it is not a straight comedy. It has it all. Woody Allen movies, although drama, can have much more true comedy in it than say, many comedies featuring "Saturday Night Live" alums. "American Hustle" went wider this weekend and finished fourth. "Saving Mr. Banks" also went wider, and ouch.
Frozen" is still solid (yes, frozen and solid still works for this film) with its finish. "Walking With Dinosaurs" was nearly extinct and with "Frozen still out, it is no wonder. People are still raving and buzzing about "Frozen" and then in walks "Dinosaurs." Not good timing here.
"Dhoom 3" opened huge and set records in India, too. According to Deadline, it broke the opening record for a Bollywood film in the United States. "Her" came out in six theaters and its perscreen average was a decent $43,000.