The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey won the weekend box office in its third week of release with an estimated $32.9 million in ticket sales to beat Django Unchained at $30.7 million.
Directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, opened with $84.6 million in its debut weekend but dropped to $32.9 million in its third week to still retain the number oner spot despite strong surges by Django Unchained, the latest from director Quentin Tarantino, and the musical Les Miserables.
Rounding out the top five, the Billy Crystal comedy Paranetal Guidance placed fourth with $14.8 million and Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise, at $14 million.
The strong rebound of The Hobbit along with the number two ranking of Django Unchained proves that word of mouth still has a powerful impact on ticket sales. Rotten Tomatoes has The Hobbit listed at 65% from critics and 81% from fans while Django Unchained tracks at 89% with critics and 94% with fans. Also on Rotten Tomatoes, Les Miserables is listed at 72% with critics and 85% with fans.
Clearly, based on the percentages, Django Unchained has the slight edge in fan popularity. However, the box office numbers don’t lie when it comes to The Hobbit.
The Hobbit marks the return of director Peter Jackson to the Lord of the Rings franchise.
To date The Hobbit has grossed close to $300 million in domestic ticket sales in three weeks and $622 million worldwide.
The high praise and positive word of mouth surrounding The Hobbit and Django certainly bolstered the earning potential of both over films the past two weeks.