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Thompson on Hollywood

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

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.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 5, 2014 12:58 PM
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Box Office Top 13: Holiday Business Spreads the Wealth, Led by 'Hobbit' and 'Wolf of Wall Street,' '47 Ronin' Flops (CHART)

A wide swath of movies shared the Christmas wealth this year. The box office took a distinctively different turn from 2012, when two new wide releases initially dominated the initial business. This year's holdover "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (Warner Bros.) led both Wednesday and Thursday, unlike last year, when the first "Hobbit" placed third for those two days, behind both "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained," which grossed $30 and $25 million respectively. No film grossed as much this year -- "The Hobbit" this time around did $19.8 million.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 27, 2013 3:57 PM
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Box Office Top Ten: Pre-Holiday Weekend Brings Two Joyful Sequels

The Top Ten surged this pre-holiday weekend, led by two films topping $25 million during a time period that is usually hurt by pre-Christmas shopping. "The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug" led the way, vaulting easily ahead of #1 Friday grosser "Anchorman 2." But both are very solid.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 22, 2013 1:27 PM
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EXCLUSIVE Video: Go Behind the 3-D Scenes with 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' (Plus Best Song Contender 'I See Fire')

As Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" arrives in theaters December 13, a new video has landed with a behind-the-scenes look at the 3D wizardry in the film. Watch below. Plus, read Jackson's letter explaining how he brought singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran on board to pen and perform "I See Fire," which is getting a Best Song Oscar push from Warner Bros. (Sheeran's "I See Fire" video, posted by Jackson, below too.)
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 12, 2013 12:58 PM
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'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' a Thrilling Middle Episode of Middle-Earth (REVIEW AND ROUNDUP)

Peter Jackson continues his lighter, more swashbuckling tone with the second Hobbit movie, "The Desolation of Smaug," which serves as a bridge to the much darker and apocalyptic "The Lord of the Rings."
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 6, 2013 1:01 PM
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Watch: Peter Jackson Previews 'The Desolation of Smaug,' Behind-the-Scenes Sneak Peek and New Characters

Those who purchased the Blu-ray and DVD combo pack of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" received a special access code to watch Peter Jackson previewing the second installment in the franchise, "The Desolation of Smaug" (December 13). Six minutes of that preview have now been released online -- watch below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 1, 2013 1:52 PM
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'Django' Nearly Beats 'Hobbit' for #1 New Year's Day

The first day of 2013 saw grosses for the top 10 films rise about $3 million - better than 6% - above New Year's 2012. The top 10 stayed the same as for the weekend, with the order finally stabilizing after much shifting, particularly in the top 3. But the film that looks strongest going forward could be "Django Unchained," which was edged out by "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" by a narrow margin - $9.2 million to Peter Jackson's film's $9.4 million, with "Les Miserables" coming in third at a still strong $7.6 million for the day.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 2, 2013 5:29 PM
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Pre-Holiday Box Office is Weak: Christmas Can't Come Too Soon for Studios, Theaters

Pre-Christmas weekends vary wildly in performance year by year, depending on where the dates fall (the closer to Christmas, the worse the business until December 25) and the strength of new openings. With the debuting films this year ranging for modest to weak, whatever strength there was came from the second week of "The Hobbit," which took a steep (but not unusual) fall from its smaller-than-expected opening. The result is a so-so total gross at best.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 23, 2012 1:03 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Joe Letteri Talks 'Hobbit' VFX, Gollum

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" represents a VFX benchmark for just how far the wizards of Weta have come in the last decade since "The Lord of the Rings." This is definitely not a case of been there, done that.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 17, 2012 1:30 PM
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Weekend Box Office Top Ten: 'The Hobbit' Breaks Records, But What Does It Mean?

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" delivered about 70% of the top ten revenue in the pre-Christmas doldrums. Grosses almost doubled from last weekend and climbed about 13% from last year, making this a very successful weekend indeed. Yes, "The Hobbit" set a record for December weekend openings-- in raw dollar count--but the numbers suggest that it might not be quite as strong as seems at first glance. Down the line, a whole series of Thanskgiving and earlier releases show few signs of giving up their screens as a whole slew of major new films prepare to battle to grab their spots over the next two weeks.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 16, 2012 1:08 PM
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