Peter Jackson's film adaptation of the first third of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit dropped more than 70% from Friday to Friday, grossing just $10.5 million this week, but still retained the #1 spot at the box office.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is on pace to make $31.5 million this weekend, better than newcomers Jack Reacher and This is 40, both of which are somewhat less family-friendly than The Hobbit.
Paramount's Jack Reacher, which stars Tom Cruise as one of the most popular and best-selling characters in contemporary fiction, made just $5.7 million on Friday and is expected to take in just $17.5 million, a disappointing opening for any movie starring Cruise (even Vanilla Sky opened at $25 million), let alone one so anticipated and widely discussed.
This is 40, which came in third, is a new comedy from Judd Apatow which looks like it will open around $12 million for the weekend after a $4 million opening day and poor word-of-mouth. The movie got a B- Cinemascore in spite of generally good buzz going in, whereas Jack Reacher has been laboring under low expectations and earned an A- from the people who saw it.
Rise of the Guardians and The Guilt Trip look as though they're going to round out the top five with between $6 million and $10 million each, although the difference in projections between The Guilt Trip and Monsters Inc. 3D is small enough that spot could really go either way. The Guilt Trip is looking to make $6.9 million despite some bad word of mouth that could hurt it today; Monsters Inc. 3D expected to make $6.5, a number unlikely to go down as the weekend wears on since most moviegoers see Monsters as a known quantity.