'Anchorman 2,' 'American Hustle' and more vying for dollars at Christmas box office

By Daniel S Levine,

Rarely has there been a week so jammed with new releases. Suddenly, Christmas day became the day to release Oscar favorites, so Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, Sony’s American Hustle and Paramount’s The Wolf of Wall Street all hit theaters within a week of each other. But it might be Ron Burgundy at the top, thanks to relentless promotion from Paramount for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Anchorman 2 has been in theaters since Wednesday and The Hollywood Reporter notes that it got off to a decent start with $8.1 million that day. The $50 million film follows up the 2004 original, which grossed just $85.3 million and starred Will Ferrell in the title role. It built a cult following and Paramount finally agreed to make the sequel last year. Box Office Mojo notes that Paramount is expecting a modest five-day opening of $40 million to $45 million.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will likely take a dip to $31 million after a strong opening last week. EW notes that this would bring its total to $126 million after 10 days, far behind the $150 million the first Hobbit movie made.

David O. Russell’s American Hustle also opened on Wednesday and is the director’s follow-up to the hit Silver Linings Playbook. He recruited an ensemble cast of A-listers for his cast, including Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence. It certainly has drawn awards buzz so adults are expected to turn out ang power the movie to a $19 million start.

Disney’s Frozen could hang around with another $16 million as family audiences look to have some fun, while the studio’s Mr. Banks is expected to make around $11 million. Fox’s animated film Walking with Dinosaurs is expected to open out of the Top 5.

The Wolf of Wall Street and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty open on Christmas Day, so the theaters will get even busier.

image: Paramount


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