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Box Office Top Ten: 'Frozen' Returns to #1 in 7th Week; 'Wolf of Wall Street' Shows Strength

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood January 5, 2014 at 12:58PM

Even with inclement weather in the eastern half of the country cutting into attendance, the top 10 came in $4 million ahead of last year. This despite the relative shortfall from this year's standard first weekend opening of a new horror film. "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" failed to land the #1 spot, unlike two similar films in the last two years, while grossing far below the level for previous entries in its series. This allowed Disney's "Frozen" to return to the #1 spot for the second time in its seven-week run.
Evangeline Lilly in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
Evangeline Lilly in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

$16,250,000 (-44%) in 3,730 theaters (-198); PSA; $4,357; Cumulative: $229,634,000

After a three-week run in first place, Peter Jackson's middle film of his current trilogy drops to third, but is still accumulating strong grosses. At this point it is around $50 million behind last year's entry on the same weekend, but that only makes it a slightly less successful film.

What comes next: This could stick around the top 10 for another month as well.

4. The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount) Week 2 - Last weekend #5

$13,400,000 (-27%) in 2,557 theaters (+20); PSA: $5,241; Cumulative: $63,295,000

After some initial concerns when it seemed to drop after opening Christmas Day, with a degree of controversy swirling around its content, this weekend's performance should go a long way to allaying concerns about this film's long-term chances. It outgrossed two films it trailed last weekend ("American Hustle" and "Anchorman 2") with a small drop from last weekend and a total gross which puts it well on its way to $100 million+. These results also really make the initial Cinemascore of C seem preposterous.

What comes next: With most major foreign territories only starting to open, the final verdict on this somewhat expensive ($100 million) project will come when those figures are added. But this looks on its way to success, a welcome return to form for Martin Scorsese after the losses "Hugo" sustained, and another sign of Leo DiCaprio's continued draw.

5. American Hustle (Sony) Week 4 - Last weekend #4

$13,200,000 (-29%) in 2,518 theaters (+11); PSA: $5,242; Cumulative: $88,700,000

Another good hold, with every indication that this will be the biggest hit of David O. Russell's career even before its anticipated awards haul really gets started. The Christmas release and early rollout is working well for Sony, as this should stay in the top 10 into February, as Oscar voting is underway.

What comes next: Producer Megan Ellison brought this in for a reported $40 million, making this a major financial success as well as the success d'estime that some of her other films have been ("The Master," "Zero Dark Thirty.") Her other current production "Her" goes wide this weekend head-to-head with this.

6. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount) Week 3 - Last weekend #3

$11,100,000 (-29%) in 3,407 theaters (-100); PSA: $3,258; Cumulative: $109,180,000

Coming down to earth a week later than expected, and still with a solid gross, this very successful sequel hit all of its marks and then some. It looks to become Will Ferrell's biggest hit since "Talladega Nights" in 2006.

What comes next: This should end up around $125 million, way ahead of the original "Anchorman," even adjusting for inflation.

7. Saving Mr. Banks (Buena Vista) Week 4 - Last weekend #6

$9,075,000 (-33%) in 2,110 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $4,292; Cumulative: $66,020,000

Another modest post-holiday fall, and critically important, doing well enough to keep on screen for weeks ahead as its likely awards attention should give it more traction ahead.

What comes next: This still has room to expand with only 2,110 runs apart from additional weeks at most of the current total, making $100 million + (and likely by a substantial margin) certain.

8. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (20th Century-Fox) Week 2 - Last weekend #7

$8,200,000 (-36%) in 2,922 theaters (+13); PSA: $2,806; Cumulative: $45,669,000

Though still lagging behind expectations, Ben Stiller's "Mitty" has accumulated a not inconsequential gross 12 days into its run. Still, placing behind "Anchorman 2" doesn't impress. This will need to keep from falling at the same rate if it is going to sustain any sort of run that could get this into profit (the reported production cost was $90 million).

What comes next: International is also in its early stages ($27 million for Christmas week in the first wave of territories), but Stiller's biggest hits (the "Fockers" and "Museum" films) have done even better foreign than domestic, so this could still end up with decent totals.

9. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate) Week 8 - Last weekend #8

$7,400,000 (-26%) in 2,143 theaters (-172); PSA: $3,453; Cumulative: $407,488,000

In a few days this will become the biggest grossing 2013 release (replacing "Iron Man 3"), as well as top the gross of the first film in the series.

What comes next: This franchise now rivals the best of Marvel in terms of expectations. Two more films are in the works, and it would be surprising to see an attempt to keep it going, depending on red-hot Jennifer Lawrence's interest in continuing.

10. Grudge Match (Warner Bros.) Week 2 - Last weekend #11

$5,410,000 (-23%) in 2,856 theaters (+18); PSA: $1,894; Cumulative: $24,920,000

The best holding film in the top 10, a positive sign for this Stallone/DeNiro comedy, but it comes from a weak opening, leaving this still short of expectations.

What comes next: With four new wide releases this week (including Warner's own expansion of "Her"), this is going to have to fight to stay on screen to give it any chance of building on word of mouth that seems to be helping this.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office Top Ten, Box Office, Frozen, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit, American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street , Saving Mr. Banks

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.