BoxOffice_logo3RD UPDATE, 1:40 PM: Every Monday, we run the final numbers for the Top 20 for the weekend so an accurate accounting can be seen by all. Sony reported this morning that due to a computer glitch, the final per-screen numbers for American Hustle, which played on six screen this weekend, were actually $123,409 not $113,000 as it previously reported. Interesting, too, is that PLF’s (led by 92 Cinemark XD in the U.S.) and IMAX accounted for roughly $15.47M of Warner Bros./MGM’s The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug. Here is the final Top 10 from Rentrak — the full Top 20 list is at the bottom of the post.

Related: Overseas Box Office: ‘The Hobbit’ Bests 1st Pic; ‘Gravity’ Pulls In Japan; ‘Frozen’ Melts Russia

1.  The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, Warner Bros., $73,645,197, 3,903 locations, $18,869 average, $73,645,197, 1 week.

2.  Frozen, Disney, $22,568,138, 3,716 locations, $6,073 average, $164,772,211, 4 weeks.

3. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, Lionsgate, $16,007,634, 2,194 locations, $7,296 average, $16,007,634, 1 week.

4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lionsgate, $13,671,666, 3,563 locations, $3,837 average, $357,503,663, 4 weeks.

5. Thor: The Dark World, Disney, $2,820,055, 2,264 locations, $1,246 average, $198,245,744, 6 weeks.

6. Out Of The Furnace,”Relativity Media, $2,425,978, 2,101 locations, $1,155 average, $9,574,440, 2 weeks.

7. Delivery Man, Disney, $1,968,891, 2,041 locations, $965 average, $28,091,575, 4 weeks.

8. Philomena, The Weinstein Company, $1,820,479, 835 locations, $2,180 average, $11,083,457, 4 weeks.

9. The Book Thief, 20th Century Fox, $1,734,679, 1,158 locations, $1,498 average, $14,936,447, 6 weeks.

10. Homefront, Open Road, $1,706,286, 2,103 locations, $811 average, $18,507,155, 3 weeks.

BOX OFFICE THUMBNAIL: Weather impacts this weekend, Attendance overall up from last year: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Bros, wide) playing to lighter numbers than last year’s first installment of the trilogy; Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (Lionsgate, wide) looks to be lowest opening for a Madea title; American Hustle (Sony, limited) very strong per screens; Saving Mr. Banks (Disney, limited) not banking; Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films, expanded to 15 locales) per screens falling fast; Hours starring the late Paul Walker (Pantelion Films – joint venture between Lionsgate and Grupo Televisa– limited in 16 theaters and on VOD).

2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY, 9:20 AM: The severe weather across the nation – winter storms across 23 states and 100 million people – also impacted the nation’s box office this weekend. It seems to have affected the older pictures most. That being said, I will post the newcomers and top five first and then update again with the rest of the pack. Overall, year-to-date attendance is up and expected to surpass $10.7 billion (which was last year’s total). Responding to feedback from readers, will highlight numbers for easier reading.

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug brought in around another $24.4M on Saturday after a Friday haul of $31.1M and is expected at $73.6M (according to WB) for its debut weekend, industry estimates show. The Warner Bros./MGM franchise played on 3,903 theaters for a per screen of around $18,700. The IMAX numbers for Hobbit accounted for about 12.5% of the national gross or about $9.18M in 344 locales. All top 10 locations for Hobbit have IMAX screens. Internationally, The Hobbit has brought in $205M so far for the studio.

“Our suburban business was severely off last night due to the inclement weather,” said Dan Fellman, president of distribution for Warner Bros. Other veteran distributors also noted this, citing up to 50% drops last night in east coast theaters vs. 20% drops in L.A. theaters.

Frozen, the animated family film from the Walt Disney Co., held a solid second place this weekend up about 101% from Friday (family pics traditionally excel on Saturdays) to bring in another $10M in 3,716 theaters and estimates for the weekend are now around $22.3M to $22.7M for the three-day. That would bring its cume up to around $164 million in its four weeks of release. It’s per is about $6,000.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas from Lionsgate was up 10% from Friday with an estimated take of between $15.8M and $15.9M, a far cry from other outings for the pic which in the past have opened to at least $25M. This is the first time the picture has opened in this time-frame pre-Christmas. It is in 2,194 theaters for an estimated per screen of roughly $7,200. This is Tyler Perry’s and Lionsgate’s 16th collaboration and marks its 8th Madea film together.

American Hustle, which bowed in only six theaters in N.Y and L.A., continued to do well on Saturday night for Sony, adding another $270,000 to bring its estimated weekend per screen total to around $113,000 its debut weekend. Very strong numbers. Up around 30% from Friday night. Estimates have the total gross hovering around the $700,000 mark. The critically-acclaimed picture will go wide next weekend in around 2,500 theaters.

Sony notes that the opening is higher than director David O. Russell’s two previous films, The Fighter (which had a $75,000 average and went on to make $93.6M in domestic  box office and 34.5M overseas) and Silver Linings Playbook $27,687; that went onto make $132M domestically). Both films, likewise, rode critical acclaim and positive word-of-mouth right into Oscar season.

“It’s an incredible start for an incredible film,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Pictures. “I think David O’Russell created a film that gives crazy, cool performances that will be savored for years to come.” Those who have seen the picture that I know are planning to go back and see it again. So expect some repeat business and a long tail for this entertaining romp.

Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, on 15 screens in its first weekend out in limited release, was up around %29 from Friday and its per screen averages are running anywhere from $26,000 to $28,000 in estimates right now for the three-day. It rolls out wide next weekend in a marketplace that looks to be packed.

Fourth place is another Lionsgate franchise, Hunger Games: Catching Fire with an estimated Saturday take of anywhere between $5.7M and $5.8M so the three-day puts it at around $13.2M to $13.4M to bring its cume up to about $357M. In 3,663 locales, it has a per screen of around $3,700. Internationally, Lionsgate has the film grossing an estimated $19.5M from 83 markets, so that brings the total international cume to $372.9 million. With the domestic added in, that pushes it to around $730M worldwide in just four weeks of release.

Thor: A Dark World from Disney took in another $1.2M on Saturday and should finish the weekend with another $2.7 million or so to bring its overall cume to around $198M. It is in its sixth week of release.

BOTTOM FIVE

Out of the Furnace, distributed by Relativity with Red Granite handling foreign, is now looking to take in about $2.3M with percentages drops of 58% to 60% this weekend. It’s cume is still hovering around the $9.4M in its second week in 2,101 theaters. Per screen is estimated at $1,106. Sixth place

Delivery Man its fourth week for Disney now looks a little lower as well around $1.93M for a total cume of a little over $28M in 2,041 theaters. Seventh spot.

Philomena from The WeinsteinCo, which ranks no. 8 in the box office top ten, has held strong over the weekend, up 25% from Friday night and down only 20% from a weekend earlier – probably from the accolades its has been receiving for Judi Dench and the movie overall. It’s on track to bring in an estimated $1.7M over the three-day in 835 runs or a per of roughly $2,100. It’s in its fourth week of limited release.

The Book Thief, in a wider release from Fox (ninth place), also held its ground this weekend in its sixth week out. Audiences and exhibs both love this little movie. It looks to take in another $1.7M this weekend on 1,158 for a per screen of $1,440. Total take is estimated around $14.9M now.

Open Road Films’ Homefront in week three is now estimated to take in $1.6M for a total cume of  $18.4M and change. It’s playing in 2,103 theaters. Takes the ten spot.

NOTEWORTHY:

CBS Films’ Inside Llewyn Davis, which bowed last weekend to high numbers on four screens last weekend, grossed an estimated $344,000 in 15 locations for a per screen average of $22,933.  The cume after 10 days stands at roughly $900,000. The picture expands into the rest of the country next weekend. The film has been receiving critical kudos.

Nebraska, the b&w film about the relationship between father and son, added another 137 theaters this weekend to 250 runs, which gave it an estimated 64% to 70% bump in box office from last weekend for Paramount Vantage, but the little picture is playing well on critical accolades. The Alexander Payne-directed film that has brought Bruce Dern back to the fore and put him in the running for an Oscar nom, has cumed an estimated $3.3M to date. This weekend, with another estimated $856,000, it’s per screen was around $3,400.

UPDATE, SATURDAY 9:30 AM: The weekend is playing out pretty much as last night numbers show as the ticker tape that has become box office reporting continues into the weekend. Warner Bros.’ The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug‘s estimates are still in the same range, Frozen is still holding strong and A Madea Christmas is now looking at the $15.5M to $16M range for the weekend. However, per screens for both Saving Mr. Banks and American Hustle have been devised upwards. American Hustle‘s per screens are estimated to be around an outstanding $115,000 to $120,000 for the weekend. Word-of-mouth and award recognition will carry it nicely through the weekend and onto the following weekend when it goes wide.

With a box office weekend that offers a week less than last year so the strongholds like Frozen and Catching Fire had a week less to play out, The Hobbit numbers are slightly less than anticipated, but not by much. With the international box office weighing in (see below) it appears that Desolation of Smaug will be buoyed by overseas numbers and arrive a little under in worldwide cume of last year’s Hobbit which took in a WW cume of $1.017 billion. How did last year’s arrive there? With $303M domestic and 714.6M internationally.  Weatherman role: Another snowstorm in the northeast expected to drop a foot of snow. How much will it impact final numbers? Now for the specific three-day weekend estimates based on hard numbers from Friday:

TOP FIVE:

The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugWarner Bros./MGM’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, based on Friday plays, is now estimated to bring in over $73M for the weekend ($31.1M on Friday vs. $37.1M last year on Friday). The fantasy/action pic is playing in 3,903 theaters. (MGM has a 50/50 split on The Hobbit rights with New Line). 344 theaters are IMAX brought in 3.979M.

In 49 international markets, The Hobbit has pulled in strong numbers, grossing $29.3M on 15,950 screens (over 3M admissions). This is running about 5% ahead of last year’s Hobbit Friday figures.

A quick look at the international markets for The Hobbit, it is having strong plays. Spain had the highest opening on Friday with $2.3M on 859 screens to take 67% of the marketshare of the top five there.  On 1,495 screens in the UK, Desolation of Smaug is taking in $4.7M and is 39% ahead of last year’s opening day (but the former Hobbit opened on a Thursday, so understand the difference). In Germany, on 1,460 screens, it brought in a strong. $4M.

Frozen is holding strong for Disney and Saturday numbers are expected to be up 125% on family moviegoing day so estimates have brought it nearer to $24M or a little over for the weekend in 3,716 theaters.  Look for a cume of around $166M in four weeks of release. The picture is getting strong word of mouth and most adults I know want to see this film with or without their kids. It easily takes the No. 2 spot over Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Christmas from Lionsgate.

A Madea ChristmasIn third place, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas which opened in a time of year that is uncommon for the series (usually opens earlier in the year), the comedy’s estimates based on Friday numbers have been devised upwards to the $15.5M to $16M range in its opening weekend but still is under opening weekends for previous Madeas. Past opening weekends have not been under $25M, but pre-Christmas is tough to get the older female audience and this plays well to that demo.

The fourth spot will go to Lionsgate as well with Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which is right in range with last night’s numbers … and looks to take in around $14M in 3,563 theaters. It’s Friday numbers were off about 47%. That will push its cume to around $357M.

Number 5 is Thor: The Dark World. The Disney/Marvel pic looks to grab about 3M this weekend for a total cume of around $198M. In its sixth week, it’s still in 2,264 locales.

LIMITED RELEASES:

american hustleAmerican Hustle is giving Sony a much-need boost in morale. With acting and picture noms from the Golden Globes and elsewhere, the David O. Russell film is pulling in outstanding per screen numbers over the weekend. In six locations last night, the film took in $210,909 for a exceptionally strong average of 35,151 per screen. Great news for Sony (Columbia), Annapura, and Atlas as exhibs love this picture. Next weekend, this picture goes wide.  Estimated per numbers for this weekend’s three day (as I said above) are ranging from $115,000 to $120,000.

Saving Mr. Banks, about Walt Disney’s quest to secure the rights for Mary Poppins from its stoic author (wonderfully played by Emma Thompson), is in 15 locales and pulling in per screen numbers in the $26,400 to $28,000 range for the three-day weekend. Banks will go wide next weekend as well, but this picture — which had a hard time in the UK already — is finding a difficult play in the U.S. as well in its first week in limited play. Friday numbers were $126,142 for a per screen average of $8,409. Disney is drawing comparisons to opening numbers of Silver Linings Playbook (however, that was small-budgeted pic not one with the salaries and production of a major studio movie with two major stars in Tom Hanks and Thompson so the production, marketing and distribution costs are vastly different). Exhibs also love this picture.

Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen brothers’ tale about a folk singer is expected to bring in about $22,000 per screen this weekend on 15 stages. They added eleven theaters  from last week. The total cume for the film will be a little over $650,000, according to industry estimates. It grossed $96,979 last night for a per of $6,465.  The picture will be with audiences outside New York and L.A. next weekend as it continues its limited run.

BOTTOM FIVE:

out of the furnaceOut of the Furnace, distributed by Relativity with Red Granite handling foreign, the dark and violent film with a strong cast (Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana), unfortunately looks like its dropping 55% to 60% this weekend for a 3-day estimated take of only $2.4M which pushing its cume to $9.5M in its second week. It’s in 2,101 arenas.

Delivery Man and Philomena are in for the next two spots for Disney and The Weinstein Co, respectively, both estimated to have numbers around the $2.1M range. Of course, these are very different pics. One is pizza and beer and the other a three-course meal. Delivery Man in its fourth week may pull in another 2M for a total cume of a little over $28M in 2,041 theaters.

The critically-acclaimed Philomena, which has earned accolades for its star Judi Dench from the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes, is estimated for a $1.9M to $2M sum in only 835 locales (as the picture has been in limited release) for a total cume now of $11.2M for the three-day.

That takes us to Fox’s The Book Thief, the little movie that seems to have gotten lost but one that exhibs love and they are keeping in 1,158 theaters this weekend. Estimates for the three-day are 1.8M for a total cume of a little over $15M in its sixth week out.

Rounding out the 10 spot is Open Road Films’ Homefront in its third week out and expected to drop another 51% for weekend estimated take of $1.6M to $1.8M for a total cume of over $18M. It’s playing in 2,103 theaters.

PREVIOUS FRIDAY NIGHT ESTIMATES: The box office this weekend opens in a completely different environment from last year, with a four-week rather than a five-week window between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Combined with a record-setting Thanksgiving weekend this year, the strongholds that opened earlier in the shorted time frame are still a factor in this weekend’s marketplace on all openers.

When Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey launched last year to $84 million, it did so as other films in the marketplace already had slowed. Last year, the difference between The Hobbit and the next picture under it was substantial as Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II and Lincoln (both of which were in wide release) were pulling in around $7 million for the three-day. Beside strong holdovers, we have another picture entering the fray, yes, another Tyler Perry Madea movie — the first one The-Hobbit-Smaug-4to open around Christmas. And, early estimates show that it will open in third place with possibly the lowest opening for a Madea pic (see below).

One other note that came to me today, which I thought was very interesting in the big-picture scheme of things: both Hobbit and Madea movies do extremely well on movies purchased digitally over the Internet on VOD as well as in DVD/Blu-ray in sales and rentals, according to Rentrak’s Paul Dergarabidian. “For example, 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ranks third among all movies ever purchased digitally over the Internet in the U.S. and spent five weeks in the U.S. Top 10 ranking for Video on Demand purchases.” But, once again, you gotta also figure in those production/marketing/distribution costs.

Related: Overseas Box Office: ‘The Desolation Of Smaug’ Opens No. 1

So here we go — and remember these are only estimates and subject to change:

The Desolation of Smaug is opening a bit lighter than previously thought for Warner Bros, with opening estimates for the three-day weekend looking like between around $70M to $73M in 3,903 theaters. It had midnight screenings on Thursday night in about 3,000 theaters to add another $8.8 million to its final opening-weekend cume ($1.2M of which was from IMAX theaters). Last year’s Hobbit opened to about $84.6 million in over 4,045 theaters, or $20,914 per. This year’s Hobbit has a per around $18,000 to $19,000 so far. By 3 p.m. today, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug represented 90% of all weekend sales on Fandango.

Disney’s animated family film Frozen is holding strong and looks to take the No. 2 spot, pushing aside Tyler Perry’s A Madea’s Christmas. Frozen is sliding in with a total estimated take in the $23M to $24M range this weekend. The very well-received family pic is still playing in 3,716 theaters in its fourth weekend out.

Madea-Xmas-2Lionsgate is taking over the third and fourth spots this weekend with two franchises. Madea is bowing to what appears might be the lowest opening-weekend number in its series with an estimated of around $15M, give or take a half a million. While The Hunger Games: Catching Fire nabs the No. 4 spot in its fourth week out to pull in another $13M to 15M weekend. It’s down about 45% from last weekend.

The release date for Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas marks a departure from earlier-in-the-year Madea releases. The last two Madea movies opening in the earlier time frame opened to around $25 million. (Madea films notoriously have been good openers.) It is playing in 2,194 theaters. It’s an older female-skewing property in a time where older-female pre-Christmas moviegoers are harder to get into the theaters. Older female audiences … that brings me to:

Saving Mr BanksDisney’s Saving Mr. Banks is not banking. On its limited runs (15 screens), it looks like a per-screen estimate of around $23,000 for the three day. It will go wide next week and obviously is skewing to an older audience. (This older female loved it.) Surely, it was hoping to have some awards to help market the picture, but only Emma Thompson received kudos from the Golden Globes and SAG.

Of course, the marketing departments already are putting in their newly cut spots on air touting their award mentions, which brings me to Sony’s critically-acclaimed and Golden Globe-nominated (7 including Best Musical or Comedy) American Hustle, co-financed by AnnaPurna, Megan Ellison’s company — the patron saint of very good movies that wouldn’t be made otherwise (Zero Dark Thirty, The Master, Her).

American HustleDavid O. Russell’s American Hustle, starring a stellar ensemble cast of Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Bradley Cooper, is in limited release on six screens with very strong per screens looking to go well over $100,000 (range is $110,000 but could change) for the weekend. That’s a nice lead-in to next weekend, when it goes wide, and exhibitors I’ve spoken to this week just love this movie. Sony is handling this release differently from 2010′s The Social Network, for which it was criticized for taking that picture out too fast, too far and then lost some momentum going into the Oscars.

Having seen American Hustle and heard the excitement from exhibitors across the nation, expect the film to enjoy its play for a long while with positive word-of-mouth. It is likely to stroll easily down the Oscar red carpet.

The question is what happens the following weekend when Martin Scorsese’s too-much-too much-somebody-stop-him The Wolf of Wall Street bows. It’s a very hard R, which Paramount’s marketing team has deftly bypassed to sell the party aspect of the film, but is not exactly what some audiences might expect given how it has been advertised. Both Wolf and American Hustle are period pieces about excess, but only one is three … hours … long.

When school lets out over the coming two weeks and the 25-and-youngers flood into the marketplace, there is always an upsurge of moviegoing.

Inside Llewyn DavisCBS Films’ Inside Llewyn Davis, which bowed last weekend to per screens over $100,000, took a hit this weekend in its expansion. The Coen brothers’ movie is just not traveling well in its 15 theaters, up from 4 last weekend, as its per-screen average is now around the $20,000-$21,000 mark, a downturn from a week earlier.

In fifth place is Disney’s Thor: The Dark World. In its sixth week out, the superhero sequel is on track for an estimated $3M weekend to push its cume just under the $200M mark.

In its second week out, Relativity’s Out Of The Furnace looks to drop anywhere between 55% and 60% this weekend for a take of a little over $2M and a cume that has risen to around $9M in early estimates. That’s a big drop. It is in the sixth spot at the moment. Since both American Hustle and Out Of The Furnace star Christian Bale, I decided to get the breakdowns of how Bale does overseas in similar films. For American Hustle, with its critical acclaim not unlike The Fighter, I chose to look at the latter film as a comparable: The Fighter did a $34.1M cume in international territories. (Of course, Bale — who won a supporting actor Oscar for The Fighter — became very well known to international audiences through the billion-dollar Batman franchise.) Will be interesting to see what these pics do overseas.

Noteworthy: Bale and Lawrence both have two pictures in the top ten this weekend.

BOOK THIEFThe little movie The Book Thief from Fox is still playing in 1,158 theaters for another $2M possible weekend to push its cume to $15M or so. Philomena, which earned a Golden Globe nom for Best Drama and GG and SAG noms for its star Judi Dench, at the moment looks to earn another $1.8M to $2M this weekend on 835 theaters for The Weinstein Co.

Hours, the Paul Walker movie about Katrina, with only nine theaters counted pulled in around $7,000 for Friday night, one source noted. It is playing on a total of 16 screens. Will update numbers when I get them.

Next weekend is a crowdfest and after that, a packed elevator.

Next week: Anchorman2: The Legend Continues (Paramount, opening wide Wednesday), Walking With Dinosaurs (Fox, 3D wide) American Hustle (Sony, wide), Saving Mr. Banks (Disney, wide), Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films, expands), Her (Warner Bros, limited). The Past (Sony Classics, limited).

Here is this week’s complete Top 20:

1.  The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, Warner Bros., $73,645,197, 3,903 locations, $18,869 average, $73,645,197, 1 week.

2.  Frozen, Disney, $22,568,138, 3,716 locations, $6,073 average, $164,772,211, 4 weeks.

3. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, Lionsgate, $16,007,634, 2,194 locations, $7,296 average, $16,007,634, 1 week.

4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lionsgate, $13,671,666, 3,563 locations, $3,837 average, $357,503,663, 4 weeks.

5. Thor: The Dark World, Disney, $2,820,055, 2,264 locations, $1,246 average, $198,245,744, 6 weeks.

6. Out Of The Furnace,”Relativity Media, $2,425,978, 2,101 locations, $1,155 average, $9,574,440, 2 weeks.

7. Delivery Man, Disney, $1,968,891, 2,041 locations, $965 average, $28,091,575, 4 weeks.

8. Philomena, The Weinstein Company, $1,820,479, 835 locations, $2,180 average, $11,083,457, 4 weeks.

9. The Book Thief, 20th Century Fox, $1,734,679, 1,158 locations, $1,498 average, $14,936,447, 6 weeks.

10. Homefront, Open Road, $1,706,286, 2,103 locations, $811 average, $18,507,155, 3 weeks.

11. Dallas Buyers Club, Focus Features, $1,174,269, 574 locations, $2,046 average, $14,301,134, 7 weeks.

12.  The Best Man Holiday, Universal, $1,055,690, 922 locations, $1,145 average, $69,019,695, 5 weeks.

13. Nebraska, Paramount, $911,784, 250 locations, $3,647 average, $3,377,783, 5 weeks.

14. Gravity, Warner Bros., $745,457, 503 locations, $1,482 average, $252,779,065, 11 week.

15. American Hustle, Sony, $740,455, 6 locations, $123,409 average, $740,455, 1 week.

16. 12 Years A Slave, Fox Searchlight, $732,825, 497 locations, $1,474 average, $36,364,513, 9 weeks.

17. Last Vegas, CBS Films, $606,753, 726 locations, $836 average, $61,757,975, 7 weeks.

18. Saving Mr. Banks, Disney, $413,373, 15 locations, $27,558 average, $413,373, 1 week.

19. Inside Llewyn Davis, CBS Films, $356,785, 15 locations, $23,786 average, $910,317, 2 weeks.

20. Captain Phillips, Sony, $290,176, 323 locations, $898 average, $104,017,034, 10 weeks.

For more estimates listed by title, see box office results here...