Zero Dark Zero's In On The Holiday Leftovers - Week 11 | Skyfall | The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey | The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

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Zero Dark Zero's In On The Holiday Leftovers - Week 11

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
Wreck-It Ralph
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Zero Dark Thirty
Sometimes it's like Hollywood knows what it's doing. Often it feels like a "limited release" is just a trick, i.e. "We know this film is going to tank, so let's burn-out small and save the money from ever having to open wide." That, or it's the "We have no idea how to market this film, so if we release it small and gather a ton of great reviews, they can market our film for us." When it does work, it's usually under the "Advanced Screening Week" timeline, where it's released in New York and L.A. to get the critics' engine humming by the time it opens wide seven days later. That was Lincoln's M.O. earlier this season. Rarely, however, does the wide-opening of a limited release succeed to the tune of $24 million four weeks after a film's been out. Well played, Zero Dark Thirty. Well played.

The Kathryn Bigalow helmed-pic about the pursuit and assassination of Osama Bin Laden proved to be a popular choice even outside the nations' two main media capitals, as it even bested the other two new releases for the weekend: A Haunted House and Gangster Squad. While it's success is too little too late to mean anything to the 2012 Holiday Movie Pool, it should spare Bigalow from having to go back to directing Harrison Ford with a Russian accent in K-19: The Widowmaker. Ya know, I think I'd pay big money to see Ford and Kevin Costner in an Accent-Off. That would be pretty riveting.

While Zero Dark Thirty was grabbing the majority of the money, the scraps were being fed on by our usual holiday treats. Django Unchained unlocked another $11.1 million for a $125.4 million gross so far. Emphasis on the "far" as Lincoln also had a healthy weekend. In its tenth week of release, the bio-pic, fueled by its 12 Oscar-nominations, revved to $6.3 million, making its $152 million total almost impossible to catch with eight days to go. Lincoln seems set as our #5.

For those who care, Les Miserables is continuing to hang right behind Django with a $10.1 million weekend and $119.2 million gross. Maybe if the producers had gone with Pierce Brosnan instead of Russell Crowe for the Javert role, things would've turned out better. When the world wants bad singing, there's only one former Bond it trusts to get the job done right.

Meanwhile, something unexpected finally did happen to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. With all the new releases it dropped 750 theaters which helped the film to drop to a $9.1 million weekend. Sitting in its hole with $278 million, The Hobbit now looks like it won't be able to catch Skyfall... and it may not be able to catch The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 either!

What in the Mt. Doom is going on here?! Fantasy fanboys should've been coming out in droves to make sure Twilight didn't trump Tolkien at the box-office this season. Gollum is a CGI creation and he out-acts everyone in the Twilight movies, save Taylor Lautner's abs. There's no questions if those abs had their own CBS crime drama, they'd beat out Patrick Dempsey's Emmy chances every time.

Still, could the final five positions of the pool already be locked? Will Lincoln run unopposed for the #5 office? Does Wreck-It Ralph wreck anyone's chances with a #4 high score? Well, with only eight days left, there's still a chance The Hobbit can climb one more Misty Mountain to reach #2. However, reaching #007 looks like A View to a Fail.

The Top Five If Today Was Martin Luther King Jr. Observance:
#1. Skyfall - $299.4 million
#2. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part Two - $290.2 million
#3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - $278.1 million
#4. Wreck-It Ralph - $179.4 million
#5. Lincoln - $152.6 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 01/14/2013

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Skyfall, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Wreck-It Ralph, Zero Dark Thirty
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