"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" continues its reign at the box office, staying on top for a third-straight week and capping a record-setting $10.8 billion year, adds Associated Press (AP). This triumph proves to Peter Jackson fans that “The Lord of the Rings” which set records as well was not a fluke.
The Warner Bros. fantasy epic from director Peter Jackson is based on the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien novel that started it all for its author. “The Hobbit” grossed nearly $33 million this weekend, according to Sunday studio estimates, despite serious competition from some much-anticipated newcomers. It's now made $686.7 million worldwide and $222.7 million domestically alone, adds AP.
Two big holiday movies — and potential Academy Awards contenders — also had strong openings. Quentin Tarantino's spaghetti Western-inspired film “Django Unchained" came in second place for the weekend with $30.7 million. The Weinstein Co. revenge comedy, starring Jamie Foxx as a slave in the Civil War South and Christoph Waltz as the bounty hunter who frees him and then makes him his partner, has earned $64 million since its Christmas Day opening.
And in third place with $28 million was the sweeping, all-singing "Les Miserables," based on the international musical sensation and the Victor Hugo novel of strife and uprising in 19th century France. The Universal Pictures film, with a cast of A-list actors singing live on camera led by Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe has made $67.5 million domestically and $116.2 million worldwide since debuting on Christmas. I must admit that I saw this film twice and feel this is the film to watch come Oscar night.
“The Hobbit” overtakes “Les Miserables” at the box office
"Les Miserables" went into its opening weekend with nearly $40 million in North American grosses, including $18.2 million on Christmas Day, adds AP. “That's the second-best opening ever on the holiday following "Sherlock Holmes," which made $24.9 million on Christmas 2009. Tom Hooper, in a follow-up to his Oscar-winner "The King's Speech," directs an enormous, ambitious take on the beloved musical which has earned a CinemaScore of "A'' from audiences and "A-plus" from women,” adds AP.
Nikki Rocco, Universal's head of distribution, said the debut for "Les Miserables" also beat the studio's expectations, according to the report."That $18.2 million Christmas Day opening — people were shocked ... This is a musical!" she said. "Once people see it, they talk about how fabulous it is."
The classics and literature are in
The success of both “The Hobbit” and “Les Miserables” at the box office this week proves that a great story coupled with a timeless epic quality can positively impact a film’s box office receipts. Both films are big, bold, beautiful stories with a powerful message. This proves Staten Island filmgoers that people are going to see artistic films with a message from our classic literary past. It seems “The Hobbit” and “Les Miserables” proved tha classic tales can be retold for a modern audience with big, breathtaking results. These are two films Staten Island movie fans you will not want to miss.
Showtimes for Staten Island
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is now playing at Atrium Stadium Cinemas at 680 Arthur Kill Road at 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 5:40 p.m., 8:05 p.m., and 9:05 p.m. Additionally you can view it at UA Hylan Plaza 5 at 107 Mill Road at 3:15 p.m. “The Hobbit” is also shown at UA All Staten Island Stadium 16 Theatre at 2474 Forest Avenue at 12:00 3:45 7:30 p.m.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 3D” is also playing at UA Hylan Plaza 5 at 107 Mill Road at 11:45 a.m. and 6:50 p.m. Additionally you can catch the 3D version of “The Hobbit” at UA All Staten Island Stadium 16 Theatre at 2474 Forest Avenue, Staten Island at 11:15 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 8:10 p.m. and 10:25 p.m.