1. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies – $56.2 million [debut week; $90.6 million since Wednesday opening] While Peter Jackson’s prequel trilogy of Middle Earth hasn’t been as revered as his first take, swarms of audiences wanted to see how it ended. And while there’s a number of new releases coming out in time for Christmas (Selma, Into the Woods and Unbroken) none cover the action adventure market so “Armies” could have some staying power. For the three-day period, “Armies” was well below the $73.6 million for “Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Extended Edition) [Blu-ray]” and the $84 million of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition) (Blu-ray)” and was much less than the $124 million for “The Return of the King,” the final chapter of the beloved “The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray]” saga, but the five-day debut is still one of 2014’s best.
2. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb – $17.3 million [debut week] – Despite this being one of the late Robin Williams’ final performances and the third installment of a surprisingly popular franchise, audiences definitely weren’t all that interested in a third trip to the museum. The first film Night at the Museum [Blu-ray] opened to $30 million while the sequel, “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy),” had an outstanding $54 million debut. Maybe it was the competition or audience fatigue, but don’t look for this to have a lengthy stint in the Top 5.
3. Annie – $16.3 million [debut week] The family film starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis had a solid debut despite faring the worst with critics – earning a meager 29% on rottentomatoes.com. Audiences enjoyed it though giving it an A- CinemaScore setting “Annie” up for a nice holiday run. This marks the first week since Nov. 7 that neither “Big Hero 6 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)” or “Penguins of Madagascar” are in the Top 5.
4. Exodus: gods and kings – $8 million [2nd week; $38.7 million in total] A week after debuting at No.1, Ridley Scott’s…unique take on Moses had a major fall from grace. Scott’s decision to significantly depart from the Biblical tale seems especially foolhardy considering this should be a major box office force less than a week out from Christmas. It’s going to take a strong worldwide performance to make a profit for the $140 million production.
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – $7.7 million [5th week; $289.2 million in total] The year’s second highest grossing film (now available for pre-order The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 [Blu-ray]) looks to be ending its run as well. Although it’s been strong compared to 2014’s other big films, this should fall about $100 million shy of the first film and about $124 million shy of the gross of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”