The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug tops the weekend. Opening at almost 74 Million it fell about 13% lower than Hobbit 1. However the response to the film was good, and the original held well through the holidays and beyond and this may as well. Hobbit had a very healthy 9.1 million in IMAX runs approximately 12% of the total on 344 runs. The 3D percentage of total gross was a very solid 49% as well.

Not bringing much Christmas time cheer was Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas. Falling far short of its projections, Madea seems to have overstayed her welcome on the screen or perhaps her shtick wasn’t as well written this time as in other outings. With a weekend total of approximately 16.2 Million she is likely to settle in perhaps crossing the 40 million dollar range given the advantageous placement pre-holiday vacation. Despite a Cinemascore of A-, other measures of audience like/dislike were not nearly so encouraging as shown below.

Next week brings more magic to the big screens. American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks, Walking With Dinosaurs, and Anchorman 2 all either expand (Hustle and Banks) or debut. Anchorman 2 is gathering a lot of advance interest as is shown in the chart at the bottom of this page and last page. American Hustle’s web searches are on an upward trend as well. Banks given its strong appeal to an older demographic is not pulling as many web searches, but the well-crafted lovely movie should prove to have good legs overall. American Hustle showed its muscle opening to an average of about 115K this weekend in six locations. That is a promise of very good things to come.

Banks in a limited break also posted a strong total of over 400K in 15 locations.

Overall we are up 8% this weekend over last year, not as healthy a total as we would have liked to see, but the prospects for a 2% increase at year’s end over 2012 are still strong.

Here are a few of the published opinion statistics.

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