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Pre-Holiday Box Office: 'Jack Reacher' Best of So-So New Openers

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood December 22, 2012 at 5:39PM

Warning signs for this year's year-end box office prospects appeared in Friday's numbers. Even though pre-Christmas Friday was two days earlier this year (generally the closer the day is to the holiday, the fewer people are going to movies), the take for the Top Ten was only $28 million yesterday, compared to $37 million on the same Friday last year.
'Zero Dark Thirty'
'Zero Dark Thirty'

Sony's "Zero Dark Thirty" was down slightly from its very strong Wednesday opening with a 5-theater total of $115,000 - but only because it had fewer seats and screens than initially (the top-grossing theater for its first two days, the Arclight Hollywood, went down to a single screen after being able to show it on three initially, with new film openings necessitating this).

Lionsgate's "The Impossible" made only a small initial impact with just under $38,000 in 15 theaters across several cities, although with good reaction the survival drama could easily rebound next week.

Among ongoing adult-appeal wide releases, "Lincoln" continues the best of the bunch, with "Skyfall" and "Life of Pi" still hanging on. All three face competition for screens with the two remaining major films to be released - "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained" - on Tuesday. Those two openers, both with strong potential, will likely determine, more than this week's new openers, whether this is a reasonably successful Christmas.

Top 10 on Friday (in millions)

1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Brothers) - $10.2

2. Jack Reacher (Paramount) - $5.1

3. This Is 40 (Universal) - $3.7

4. Rise of the Guardians (Paramount) - $1.6

5. The Guilt Trip (Paramount) - $1.5

6. Lincoln (Buena Vista) - $1.4

7. Monsters, Inc. 3D  (Buena Vista) - $1.4

8. Skyfall (Sony) - $1.3

9. Life of Pi (20th Century-Fox) - $1.0

10. Cirque dul Soleil: Worlds Away (Paramount) - $.8

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Jack Reacher, Tom Cruise, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson

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Thompson on Hollywood

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.