by: Madelyn Glymour | Contributor
Another year, another missing family member for Liam Neeson. Actually (spoiler, but not really, because it’s in the trailer), in the Taken movies, Liam Neeson only has two family members, so rather than kidnapping either Maggie Grace or Famke Janssen again, Taken 3 (sometimes stylized Tak3n, because it’s 2014 and we don’t believe in pronouncable titles anymore) takes a different tack. The misnomer of a title probably won’t deter audiences, though; the threequel is on track to win the weekend with a $30 million haul, attributable in all likelihood to its predecessors’ popularity and the paucity of old-fashioned action movies over the holidays.
At the opposite end of the movie spectrum is Selma, which is expanding from limited into nationwide release this week. Those kinds of expansions don’t often make the top five, but Selma has a lot of buzz and a lot of names backing it up — the cast is several dozen strong, and contains such presences as David Oyelowo, Lorraine Toussaint, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tessa Thompson, and of course Oprah Winfrey. Its tracking numbers aren’t the stuff of epics, but they’re workable, and Selma will likely catch any viewers who saw Unbroken in its first two weeks and are ready for something new. Currently, Selma is underselling comparitor The Butler in presales, but that still leaves plenty of room for a take of about $20 million this weekend.
|Opening Weekend||Current Gross||Facebook Likes||Tweets|
|THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES||$54.724 million||$225.764 million||14,461,344||36,345|
|INTO THE WOODS||$31.052 million||$94.504 million||276,733||86,403|
|UNBROKEN||$30.621 million||$92.005 million||341,871||–|
The returning titles this week are The Hobbit, Into the Woods, and Unbroken. The Hobbit is entering its fourth week, after dipping a very respectable 25 percent between its first two weeks, and 46 percent last weekend. It’s unlikely to lose a tremendous amount of audience to either of the new titles (though there’s probably some overlap with the audience for Taken 3), but it will have to deal with a general drop-off in interest from its core audience of die-hard fans, who will likely have seen (and perhaps re-seen) the movie by now. Expect another drop in the 40 to 50 percent range.
Into the Woods and Unbroken are both entering their third weeks neck-and-neck in total domestic gross. They’ve had very close weekend grosses both weeks, as well. Unbroken has been outselling Into the Woods every day this week, but that’s only to be expected; Into the Woods is a PG movie that parents can (or at least, think they can) take their kids to, so it sees an uptick on the weekends. I expect that both Into the Woods and Unbroken will drop in the 40 percent range, with Into the Woods once again eeking out a win over Unbroken for fourth place. But it’s not inconceivable that the reverse could happen.
|Critics||Users||# of Ratings||Stars||# of Ratings|
|THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES||60||77||185,870||7.7||149,989||59|
|INTO THE WOODS||71||58||65,903||7.1||15,514||69|
(Sources: boxoffice.com, rottentomatoes.com, imdb.com, metacritic.com. Starred figures are estimates. Tweets represent figures for this week only. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed. Tracking Board does not report Rotten Tomatoes user ratings for movies that have not yet seen wide release.)