Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies easily led the weekend box office with an estimated $56.22 million. The third and final chapter of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy has grossed $90.63 million through its first five days of release. On the heels of a sharper than expected percentage decline on Thursday, the film rebounded nicely over the weekend and registered a five-day to three day ratio of 1.61 to 1. The five-day debut of The Battle of the Five Armies was 11 percent below the $102.05 million five-day start of 2002's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (which also opened on a Wednesday) and 5 percent ahead of the $86.14 million five-day start of last year's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (which opened on a Friday).
The Battle of the Five Armies grossed $16.58 million on Friday, increased 29 percent on Saturday to take in $21.43 million and is estimated to decline 15 percent on Sunday to gross $18.22 million. That places the film's estimated weekend to Friday ratio at 3.39 to 1, which is obviously inflated by the film opening on a Wednesday. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies received an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore.
IMAX grosses were responsible for $7.70 million of the film's overall gross this weekend. Thus far The Battle of the Five Armies has grossed $13.62 million from 360 IMAX locations. That represents 15 percent of the film's overall domestic gross. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (60 percent) and moviegoers over the age of 25 (60 percent).
It what turned out to be a closer than expected race for second, Fox's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb was able to outpace Sony's Annie with an estimated opening weekend take of $17.3 million. The two films clearly split up the family audience this weekend and may remain close to one another throughout the rest of the holiday season. While it was able to claim second, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opened significantly below pre-release expectations. The third installment of the Ben Stiller led franchise had already been expected to see a significant drop-off from the performance of its predecessor, 2009's Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (which debuted with $54.17 million in its first three days). Secret of the Tomb debuted 26 percent below the $23.24 million start of 2011's Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opened with $5.63 million on Friday, increased 16 percent on Saturday to gross $6.50 million and is estimated to decrease 20 percent on Sunday to gross $5.18 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.08 to 1. Family films tend to hold up very well throughout the holiday season and that will likely be the case for Secret of the Tomb. The film received a B+ rating on CinemaScore.
Annie debuted in third with an estimated $16.3 million. The musical remake starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz opened towards the lower end of pre-release expectations. That is good news for Sony, especially after the events of the past week that led to the cancellation of the studio's release of The Interview. Annie trailed Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb by just $1.0 million this weekend. Annie opened 30 percent below the $23.24 million debut of the previously mentioned Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.
Annie started out with $5.3 million on Friday, increased 15 percent on Saturday to gross $6.1 million and is estimated to fall 20 percent on Sunday to gross $4.9 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.08 to 1. Like Secret of the Tomb, Annie is likely to hold up nicely throughout the holiday season, though between the two films, it will face more direct competition from Disney's Into the Woods starting on Christmas Day. Annie received a promising A- rating on CinemaScore, which strongly suggests that the film is going over much better with audiences than it has with critics.
Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings landed in fourth with an estimated $8.07 million. The pricey Ridley Scott directed biblical epic starring Christian Bale was down a very sharp 67 percent from last weekend's debut. Poor reviews, mixed word of mouth and direct competition from The Battle of the Five Armies are all clearly taking a toll on the film. Exodus: Gods and Kings has grossed a soft $38.90 million in ten days. That places the film 7 percent behind the $41.87 million ten-day take of Son of God earlier this year.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 followed closely behind in fifth with an estimated $7.75 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise was down a solid 39 percent from last weekend. Mockingjay - Part 1 has grossed $289.23 million in 31 days, which leaves it just $10.77 million away from becoming the second release of 2014 to reach the $300 million domestic milestone.
In its first weekend of wide release Fox Searchlight's Wild took in an estimated $4.15 million to place in sixth. The critically acclaimed drama starring Reese Witherspoon claimed a per-location average of $3,911 from 1,061 locations. Wild has grossed $7.21 million in 19 days of release.