Please note that grosses for films from FilmDistrict, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. are still estimates. Actual grosses for such films are expected to be reported on Wednesday, January 2.
After posting the second best ever Christmas Day opening gross, Les Misérables slid 32.9 percent to $12.159 million on Wednesday for a location average of $4,330. The sharp decline was mostly to be expected when considering the strong advance sales of the film entering this week, indicating a sizable rush of fans on Christmas Day. By comparison, Sherlock Holmes (which holds the Christmas Day opening gross record) declined 11.3 percent on its second day, however, it should be noted that Holmes's second day fell on a Saturday rather than in the middle of the week. With strong word of mouth and the fact that many among the film's audience went back to work yesteday, Les Mis is still positioned for a strong weekend. The domestic total after two days stands at $30.27 million and $58.6 million worldwide.
Django Unchained also saw a noticeable drop on Wednesday following Tarantino's personal best opening of $15 million on Christmas Day. Django fell 33.3 percent to $10.006 million and third place, bringing its two-day cume to $25.018 million. Looking back at 2007 when the calendar last aligned on the same days, the R-rated and fan-driven Alien Vs. Predator - Requiem toppled by 54 percent on Wednesday after debuting on Christmas. In 2001, Ali fell 43.2 percent the day after its Christmas opening. While some front-loading effect is still possible for Django, word of mouth should continue to drive it past the day-to-day performances of those films.
Meanwhile, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey continued to demonstrate some stabilization as the film increased slightly by 0.5 percent to an estimated $11.36 million on Wednesday. The bump was enough to push it up to second place. Week-to-week, The Hobbit increased 79.5 percent from last Wednesday. By comparison, I Am Legend was up 44.8 percent over the same time frame when Christmas last fell on a Tuesday in 2007. The Hobbit's 13-day gross now stands at an estimated $179.663 million, about 12.5 percent ahead of Legend's through the same point.
Fox's Parental Guidance slipped 31 percent yesterday to $4.328 million. With all three Christmas Day openers falling within a similar range, it remains to be seen whether the Billy Crystal-Bette Midler film will hold up with families through the weekend or if its audience is skewing older.
Also worth noting today is that after a long chase, Skyfall leaped past The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 in total domestic gross. The Bond flick has tallied an estimated $283.7 million while Breaking Dawn is currently at $283.024 million. Skyfall led the Twilight finale's Wednesday gross by 128.8 percent.
More analysis to come...