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'The Hobbit' holds No. 1 spot, 'Jack Reacher' and 'This is 40' disappoint

By Lindsey Bahr, EW.com
December 24, 2012 -- Updated 1341 GMT (2141 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "The Hobbit" experienced a significant 57% drop off in its second week
  • "Jack Reacher" opened this past weekend in second place with a modest $15.6 million
  • Judd Apatow's "This is 40" also opened this weekend at $12 million to take third place

(EW.com) -- It was a fairly slow weekend at the box office.

Despite a record-breaking opening, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" experienced a significant 57% drop off in its second week, bringing in an estimated $36.7 million, with an $8,952 per screen average. This brings "The Hobbit's" ten-day gross to $149.9 million, tracking about 8% behind "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King's" ten-day gross.

Paramount's "Jack Reacher" (Cinema Score: A-) opened this past weekend in second place with a modest $15.6 million. Based on the popular Lee Child-created character, the Tom Cruise action flick has been somewhat of a box office wild card and will have to struggle to maintain momentum to make up the costs for the $60 million production.

The weekend prior to the Christmas holiday isn't usually the strongest at the box office, but last year Cruise's "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" opened wide on December 21 at $29.6 million. As many have already mentioned, "Jack Reacher" fans are perhaps put off by the casting, since the character is supposed to be physically imposing at 6'5″.

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Judd Apatow's comedy "This is 40" (Cinema Score: B-) also opened this weekend at $12 million to take third place. Though not abysmal, it doesn't hold a candle to the $22.7 million, number one opening for "Funny People," Apatow's last directorial effort. But of course, "Funny People" starred Adam Sandler, which likely contributed to the strong opening.

A sort of-sequel to "Knocked Up" (which opened at $30.7 million), "This is 40" stars Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, and Albert Brooks, and boasts an impressively large cast including John Lithgow, Jason Segel, Chris O'Dowd, Megan Fox, Michael Ian Black, and Lena Dunham. But the 134-minute run time and Paul Rudd's relatively low box office draw may have contributed to the low first weekend earnings.

Things did not fare as well for other weekend openings, including the Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogen road trip comedy "The Guilt Trip" (Cinema Score: B-) and "Monsters, Inc. 3D," both of which failed to break the top five, bringing in $5.4 million and $5 million, respectively.

Showing in 356 fewer theaters this week, "Rise of the Guardians" dropped from the number two spot to fourth place with $5.9 million, a 17% drop off from the previous week. "Lincoln," now in its seventh week, just barely took the fifth spot with $5.6 million, bringing its domestic total gross to $116.8 million.

"Skyfall" dropped off the top five for the first time since it went wide. It still made $4.7 million and continues to add to its franchise topping gross of $279.8 million. "Life of Pi" also fell to ninth place after maintaining a steady hold of the fifth place spot for its first four weeks in theaters.

1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey -- $36.7 million

2. Jack Reacher -- $15.6 million

3. This Is 40 -- $12 million

4. The Rise of the Guardians -- $5.9 million

5. Lincoln -- $5.6 million

"The Impossible," the Naomi Watts drama about a family struggling to survive the 2004 Tsunami, opened this weekend in limited release and earned $138,750 for a respectable $9,250 per screen average. Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" (out nationwide January 11) also opened in five theaters in Los Angeles and New York with an impressive $82,000 per theater average, bringing in a total of $410,000.

See the original article at EW.com.

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