Forecast: ‘Smaug’ Poised to Open Lower Than First ‘Hobbit’

January 9, 2014 - box office

by Ray Subers
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 

 December 12, 2013

Midnight Update: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug non-stop to $8.8 million during midnight, that is a second-highest midnight opening ever in December. Unfortunately, it ranks second behind final year’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, that brought in $13 million during midnight. That’s a 32 percent declineif Smaug continues during that gait by a rest of a weekend, it will open to a really unsatisfactory $58 million.

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Of course, regulating midnight grosses to plan a full weekend is distant from an accurate science. And it is wholly probable that Desolation of Smaug‘s assemblage is some-more widespread out via a weekend. However, this is a flattering transparent pointer that fad usually isn’t as high this time aroundas a result, it’s now protected to contend that Smaug will not come tighten to relating An Unexpected Journey‘s $84.6 million debut.

Forecast: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is set to browbeat a box bureau this weekend, yet a intermediate response to a initial film will tongue-tied grosses a bit this time around. Meanwhile, Tyler Perry’s A Madea’s Christmas should precedence a clever Perry/Madea code in to a clever second place debut.

Desolation of Smaug
is a second of 3 Lord of a Rings prequels, and reaches theaters roughly accurately a year after The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Coming off The Lord of a Rings moviesundoubtedly one of a many successful and dear franchises everAn Unexpected Journey was a large box bureau success ($300 million domestic, $1 billion worldwide). Unfortunately, reactions were rather mixed: while a film confident revolutionary fans, infrequent viewers seemed to be some-more lukewarm.

Typically, when a initial installment receives intermediate reactions, a second tour takes a strike during a box office. Recognizing this, Warner Bros. has put together a selling debate that seems tailor-made to residence a complaints with a initial one. Instead of focusing on a dwarves and Bilbo, promotion highlights a lapse of fan favorite impression Legolas, and introduces a butt-kicking womanlike elfin Tauriel (played by Lost‘s Evangeline Lilly). Ads also hype adult a fight with a dragon Smaug, that is a kind of sparkling set square that a initial film lacked.

Finally, new element has attempted to make a “quality” argument, with one censor quote in sold suggesting that a film is an alleviation over a first. Critics do seem to generally determine that Smaug is a step up, yet a movie’s 73 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes still pales in comparison to a scarcely concept adore for a Lord of a Rings franchise.

Unfortunately, a some-more sparkling selling bid and marginally improved reviews are doubtful to totally remove a repairs finished by An Unexpected Journey. It also doesn’t assistance that there’s some-more foe in a marketplace this year: holdovers Catching Fire and Frozen are still creation money, A Madea Christmas should open well, and Anchorman 2 is usually a few days away. An Unexpected Journey non-stop to $84.6 milliondon’t be astounded if Desolation of Smaug starts off closer to $70 million.

Regardless of how it does during a domestic box office, though, Smaug is still going to be a success interjection to a worldwide appeal. While it might not be means to compare a predecessor’s $714 million abroad haul, it’s tough to suppose it earning a dime reduction than $600 million.

Opening during 2,194 locations, A Madea Christmas is inclusive filmmaker Tyler Perry‘s 14th film in a past 8 years. The prior 13 outings have total to acquire over $674 million during a domestic box office. The tip 3 of those cinema all underline a impression Madea, a wise-cracking African-American lady played by a cross-dressing, fat-suit-wearing Perry.

As a delay of a Madea brand, a prospects for Madea Christmas are already strong. It also helps that Lionsgate has executed an appealing selling debate focused on a comical picture of Madea in a Santa suit, that will expected enlarge a assembly over that of a standard Perry movie.

Eight of Perry’s 13 cinema have non-stop over $20 million; a usually other filmmakers with as many $20 million debuts are Robert Zemeckis (nine) and Steven Spielberg (11). A Madea Christmas should get there as well, and will reason improved than many Perry cinema interjection to a tie-in with a arriving Christmas holiday.

Ahead of national expansions on Dec. 20th, Saving Mr. Banks and American Hustle are opening in singular recover this weekend. At 15 locations, Mr. Banks tells a story of how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) got author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to pointer off on a big-screen instrumentation of Mary Poppins. Reviews are solid, yet this is a kind of film that will have some-more interest among ubiquitous audiences than it will with a arthouse crowds who will get a possibility to see it it this weekend.

Meanwhile, David O. Russell‘s American Hustle opens during 6 theaters. Coming off The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, Russell’s code is during an all-time high, and he’s fabricated a dream group expel that includes The Fighter‘s Christian Bale and Amy Adams and Silver Linings Playbook‘s Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

It doesn’t harm that a film is receiving good reviews (97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and copiousness of awards courtesy (a heading 7 Golden Globe nominations). On this same weekend 3 years ago, The Fighter averaged $75,003 during 4 theaters, that is a figure American Hustle should be means to match.

Forecast (Dec. 13-15)

1. The Hobbit – $70.9 million
2. Madea Christmas – $27.9 million
3. Frozen – $21.6 million (-32%)
4. Catching Fire – $13.9 million (-47%)

Bar for Success

Desolation of Smaug doesn’t need to compare a initial movie’s $84 million opening, though it ought to be removing close. Anything above $75 million is fine. Meanwhile Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas is in good figure if it opens to during slightest $20 million.

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