Box office update: 'The Hobbit' journeys back to No. 1; 'Django' and 'Les Mis' stay strong

UNEXPECTED-JOURNEY

Snowstorms in the northeast may be limiting moviegoing attendance this weekend, but inclement weather won’t stop Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf from ringing in the New Year in style.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey returned to the top of the box office on Friday, crossing the $200 million mark in the process. The $250 million Warner Bros. release grossed an estimated $10.7 million on Friday, putting it on pace for a $31 million weekend, which would bring its total to about $221 million and lift its worldwide cume past $600 million.

In second place, Django Unchained continued its terrific opening week, bringing in another $9.7 million. By weekend’s end, the R-rated Western will have earned about $27 million more, giving it a six-day total of $60 million. Based on these results, it seems likely that Django will replace Inglorious Basterds, which earned $120.5 million, as Quentin Tarantino’s highest grossing movie ever.

After three days on top, Les Miserables fell to third place on Friday with $9.4 million.  Due to upfront excitement from passionate fans, Universal’s musical drama, which boasted an “A” CinemaScore grade, had already earned about $40 million heading into the weekend, and a likely $28 million frame will bring its total to a hugely impressive $68 million since its release on Christmas day.

Fox’s poorly-reviewed Billy Crystal/Bette Midler comedy Parental Guidance earned $5.1 million on Friday, which should yield a $15 million weekend — the same amount the film earned in its first three days. A six-day total of $30 million is nothing to write home about, but it’s not half bad, either.

Rounding out the Top 5 was Paramount’s $60 million Tom Cruise vehicle Jack Reacher, which sold $4.5 million worth of tickets and will finish the weekend with about $13 million. The thriller will have amassed about $45 million after ten days, and will almost certainly miss the coveted $100 million mark that Cruise used to reach so easily.

1. The Hobbit — $10.7 million
2. Django Unchained — $9.7 million
3. Les Miserables — $9.4 million
4. Parental Guidance — $5.1 million
5. Jack Reacher — $4.5 million

Check back tomorrow for the full box office report, and keep an eye out for a comprehensive year-end box office report early next week. And for more box office musing, follow me on Twitter.

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