While 2014 might have come with a new, somewhat high profile release (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones), it was a 2013 animation that took the number one spot.
Frozen has gone above and beyond even the wildest expectations to become the 2nd highest grossing animation ever to come out of Walt Disney Animation Studios. After $19.5 million over the weekend, Frozen is now at $296.7 million domestically, seven weeks in (six of which have been in wide release). This is also the second time Frozen came in first and since its wide release at the end of November, it has never dropped below third place. What more can I say, Disney absolutely hit a home run with this one.
Next down is Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, a spin-off of the popular found footage horror series. The flick opened with $18.3 million, considerably lower than Paranormal Activity 4 ($29 million) but since it only apparently cost $5 million to produce, definitely not a disappointment by any stretch. I have no idea how much Paramount spent on prints and advertising for the R-rated horror, although it’s safe to say a lot more than $5 million. Even so The Marked Ones will end up being profitable for them. Now on the subject of future installments in the series, I don’t think this sort of take will cut it for Paranormal Activity 5, scheduled for an October release this year.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug drops to third after three consecutive weekends on top of the box office. Bilbo and his band of dwarves landed $15.6 million over the weekend. Four weeks in and The Desolation of Smaug has generated $229 million which in retrospect is almost $35 million below An Unexpected Journey at the same point in its run. That one finished just above $300 million so The Desolation of Smaug is probably headed for $255-260 million by the time it leaves cinemas. Maybe a tiny bit disappointing since Smaug was a superior movie, but certainly understandable. Unless There and Back Again is offensively bad (or facing insane competition), it should get the series back to $300+ million.
The Wolf of Wall Street comes in 4th with $13.2 million for a total of $63.1 million after 12 days in release. Disappointing for a $100 million production directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Disappointing because the last three movies those two made together have grossed on average over $120 million domestically each, and unless The Wolf of Wall Street steals the show at the Oscars this year, it will barely inch past the $100 million mark. Despite it being a fantastically entertaining three hour Scorsese extravaganza, maybe even, dare I say it, his most entertaining film in a long time, I don’t think it will win Best Picture (hope I’m wrong).
American Hustle rounds out the top 5 with $12.4 million and $87.9 million so far. Hustle is quite the opposite of Wolf, well on its way to become David O. Russell’s 2nd highest grossing movie. This is looking like a look for $120 million, maybe even give Silver Linings Playbook a run for its money ($132 million) to become the director’s biggest hit yet. Then there’s the budget, $40 million, that’s $60 million less than Wolf. But in all honesty, while both are great movies, I prefer the crazy Wolf over Hustle.