As expected, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" won the box office again this weekend, earning an estimated $36.7 million to easily defeat newcomers "Jack Reacher," "This Is 40" and "The Guilt Trip." The first film in Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy novel has now earned nearly $149.9 million domestically in its first ten days of release.
"The Hobbit's" dominance may not have raised any eyebrows, but there were some mild surprises at the box office this weekend. "Jack Reacher," for instance, took second place with an estimated $15.6 million, earning a strong A- Cinemascore from viewers. While that amount is still soft for a Tom Cruise action vehicle, it's still solid given the lack of buzz surrounding the film. The positive word of mouth should also help "Jack Reacher" going forward.
The same cannot be said of Judd Apatow's new comedy "This Is 40," which takes a more adult — but still funny — look at relationships than his usual work. Audiences did not appear in on the joke this time, though, as shown by a soft third place debut ($12 million) and a weak B- Cinemascore.
Still, "This Is 40" fared better than the new buddy comedy from Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, "The Guilt Trip;" she may be a living legend, but fans of Babs apparently stayed away from the theater in droves, leading to a dismal sixth place debut. Even a Wednesday opening couldn't help this one build momentum.
All that being the case, next week's box office appears to be up for grabs, though with new films "Les Misérables" and "Django Unchained" both opening on Tuesday, just how much of the demand will be worked off before the weekend arrives remains to be seen.
Here's a full run down of this weekend's box office top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
2. "Jack Reacher" - $15.6m
3. "This Is 40" - $12m (our review)
4. “Rise of the Guardians” – $5.9m
5. “Lincoln” – $5.6m (our review)
6. "The Guilt Trip" - $5.4m
7. "Monsters Inc. 3D" - $5m
8. “Skyfall” – $4.7m (our review)
9. “Life of Pi” – $3.8m (our review)
10. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2″ – $2.6m (our review)