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Weekend Box Office: Hobbit Holds Off Jack Reacher, This is 40 for First Place

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By Chris Kavan - 12/24/12 at 01:46 AM CT

It was a big battle at the box office this weekend. Despite some heavy competition, no new release could claim the top spot. I'm guessing it will be a different story next week, but as for now, Middle Earth is still the top draw for audiences.

1) THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

It was another win for Peter Jackson - though the numbers have to be somewhat of a disappointment. Dropping a steep 57%, The Hobbit earned $36.7 million in its second week - bringing its total to $149.9 million. While the number is good, compared to Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ($190.8 million) and The Two Towers ($168.1 million), it's lagging behind. Plus, neither of those films had the benefit of 3D. If The Hobbit continues along this path, it's likely to end up with a lower gross than any of the previous LOTR films.

2) JACK REACHER

Tom Cruise did his best to live up as a radically different character compared to the novel, and managed a $15.6 million second place opening. Though that is less than the openings for Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol ($29.55 million) and Valkyrie ($21 million) - considering the Christmas timing, that number isn't too bad. Audiences also gave it an A-, meaning it has a chance to stick around and could near the $83 million total that Valkyrie brought in. The audience was mostly male (60%) and skewed older (76% over 25).

3) THIS IS 40

Judd Apatow's return to the big screen, catching up with some familiar faces first introduced in Knocked Up, drew in $12.03 million for third place. While not even half the total of Knocked Up's $30.7 million opening, it was a tougher sell to a Christmas audience, who only gave it a B- score. Still, ultimately it should hopefully be able to outgross Adatow's last film, Funny People ($51 million) before it ends its run.

4) RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

Dreamworks holiday-themed animated film continued to chug along, taking in $5.9 million (down just 17.4%) in fourth place in its fifth weekend of release. The film has taken in nearly $80 million since opening and should wind up over $90 million - and still has a slight chance to crack the $100 million mark - before its holiday cheer runs out.

5) LINCOLN

Once again, Steven Spielberg's held up quite well, dropping less than 20%. After seven weeks, the film has made $116.78 million - adding $5.6 million over the weekend. The nice box office could mean a lot come awards time.

Outside the top five: The Guild Trip, with Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand.opened to a meager $5.4 million (sixth place). It was the lowest opening ever for Rogen - though the numbers (60% female, 82% over 25) show that Streisand fans are most likely the crowd that drove this movie.

Proving the 3D conversion is going the way of the dinosaur, the re-release of Pixar's Monsters, Inc. only drew in $5.04 million (seventh place) - less than half of any other previous 3D release - and it's entire five-day run was less than what the Lion King 3D made on its opening day ($8.09 million). Maybe audiences are finally realized it's not worth it to pay 3D prices for a movie they can enjoy at home (in 3D if they want).

Life of Pi crossed the $75 million mark - taking in $3.8 million and winding up with $76.15 million total. In limited release, the hunt for Bin Laden drama Zero Dark Thirty had a very impressive $82,000 per-theater average (playing in just five theaters) and should mean good things for the potential Oscar-nominee when it expands to wide release Jan. 11, 2013.

You only have to wait a couple days for the new releases as Les Miserables, Django Unchained and Parental Guidance all drop on Christmas Day - a truly great gift (except for Parental Guidance - I would be returning that one for cash). It should be interesting to see which film gains the most from the buzz.

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