‘The Hobbit’ Wins the Weekend, ‘The Interview’ Scores With Digital Release

By December 28, 2014

While there wasn’t much of a shock in looking at the box office breakdown for this weekend, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the clear winner in the realm of ticket sales.

In a new piece from VarietyHobbit took in $41.4 million in its second weekend at the box office, bringing its current domestic total to $168.5 million after being released on December 17th. While this is definitely a strong showing for a film that’s been out for only 11 days, The Hobbit‘s strength continues to wow audiences worldwide, since its current worldwide total stands at a staggering $573.2 million. The combined box office totals worldwide for both previous Hobbit films — 2012’s An Unexpected Journey and 2013’s The Desolation of Smaug — raked in just about $2 billion in box office dollars, and the hope at Warner Bros. headquarters in Burbank is for the trilogy’s finale to add another cool billion dollars to the mix.

Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut, Unbroken, also made a strong impression at this weekend’s box office. The inspiring story of American Olympian and soldier Louie Zamperini, managed to bring in a respectable $31.7 million on its box office debut, with its worldwide total standing at $47.3 million. Into the Woods, starring Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Chris Pine, also debuted strongly at number 3 with a weekend haul of $31 million, with a worldwide total of $46 million.

This is something of a monumental year for Warner Bros., as the combined strength of hits like The HobbitInterstellar, and this past summer’s Godzilla have netted the studio over $3 billion in box office receipts for 2014. All of these major end-of-year films have proved to be a boon for the box office anyways in a year that has seen decreased attendance at movie theaters nationwide.

On the other side of the spectrum, Variety is also reporting that the total gross taken in by the multi-platform digital release of Sony Pictures’ The Interview has brought in an estimated $15 million in rentals and sales from its releases on Google Play, YouTube, and Sony’s own dedicated website. The film has also just been released on Apple’s popular media service iTunes, which will likely open up a whole new stream of revenue for the film.

We’ll have to see how things continue to shake out, but it’s pretty safe to say that 2014 has ended on a relative high note for a slower year at the movies.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.