Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies debuted with $24.45 million on Wednesday. That figure includes the estimated $11.2 million the film grossed from Tuesday night shows (which represented a very significant 45.8 percent of the film's opening day gross).
The Battle of the Five Armies opened 22 percent below the $31.19 million opening day performance of last year's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, though that was expected given that The Desolation of Smaug opened on a Friday. The Battle of the Five Armies opened 6.5 percent below the $26.16 million Wednesday start of 2002's The Two Towers, which went on to gross $102.05 million in its first five days of release. Given that The Battle of the Five Armies will likely experience more initial front-loading in comparison; the last chapter of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy appears to be on course for a five-day start in the area of $88 million to $95 million.
After leading the daily box office for the previous five days, Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings fell to second on Wednesday with $1.31 million. The pricey Ridley Scott directed biblical epic starring Christian Bale was down a sharp 41 percent from Tuesday. Clearly Exodus: Gods and Kings took a big hit from the arrival of The Battle of the Five Armies in the marketplace. Exodus: Gods and Kings has grossed $29.61 million in six days of release. That places the film an underwhelming 2 percent behind the $30.2 million six-day start of the far less expensive Son of God earlier this year.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 was down one spot and 25 percent from Tuesday to land in third with $1.02 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise was down a healthy 26.5 percent from last Wednesday. Mockingjay - Part 1 has grossed $280.39 million in 27 days. That leaves the film $19.61 million away from becoming the second release of 2013 to reach the $300 million domestic milestone. Mockingjay - Part 1 is running 22.5 percent behind the $361.59 million 27-day take of last year's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Paramount's Top Five placed in sixth for the day with $0.447 million. The critically acclaimed comedy starring and directed by Chris Rock was down one spot and a solid 24 percent from Tuesday. Top Five has grossed $8.44 million in six days of moderate release. The low-budget film continues to perform on the low end of expectations, but hopes to hold up well going forward thanks in part to strong critical reviews and planned expansions.