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"The Hobbit"
© Warner Bros. / 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'
'Hobbit' stays on top of box office

By Todd Cunningham

Neither Tom Cruise nor Barbra Streisand could burst the holiday box-office bubble of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," which rolled to its second consecutive weekend win with $36 million.

Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth epic, the first of three planned installments and a prequel to the blockbuster "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, has now taken in nearly $150 million since opening in the U.S. on Dec. 14. With another $91 million from overseas this weekend, it has grossed more than $433 million worldwide for Warner Bros.

Find: Which actor feared his height would cost him 'Hobbit' role?

Cruise's "Jack Reacher" opened at No. 2 with a decent $15.6 million, but it was clear early that Paramount's action film wasn't going to slow down Bilbo Baggins or match the success of last holiday season's "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol." That film made nearly $30 million in its wide debut, and went on to make nearly $700 million worldwide for Paramount.

Also on TheWrap: 'Zero Dark Thirty' Comes Out Blazing at the Box Office

The "Jack Reacher" audience was older (76 percent over 25) and 60 percent male. They gave the film, based on bestselling author Lee Child's novel "One Shot" and written for the screen and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, an "A-" CinemaScore.

Also: What did the critics think?

Cruise's personal problems may have limited its appeal.

"I can't imagine his divorce from Katie Holmes and the custody battle hasn't hurt him some with women," vice president and chief analyst Phil Contrino told TheWrap prior to its release. "Actions fans will come out, but going beyond that demographic is going to be tough for him."

Though it's behind their opening pace, "Jack Reacher" could wind up playing more like Cruise's "Knight and Day," which opened to $20 million and went on to make $76 million for Fox in 2010, or "Valkyrie," which did $83 million in 2008 after opening to $21 million.

Streisand's PG-rated road comedy "Guilt Trip,' in which she stars with Seth Rogen, has struggled since opening Wednesday. It took in just $5.2 million over the weekend and has a $7.4 million total.

It couldn't keep pace with another comedy, "This is 40," from writer-director Judd Apatow. The R-rated sort-of sequel to "Knocked Up" opened to $12 million and was No. 3 for Universal.

"Guilt Trip" is Streisand's first film foray since "Little Fockers," which debuted around the same time of year in 2010 for Universal -- and her first starring role since 1996's "The Mirror Has Two Faces."

The "Guilt Trip" debut is disappointing. "Little Fockers," a sequel to "Meet the Fockers," opened to $30 million and went on to make $148 million. Distributor Paramount was hoping the PG13-rated "Guilt Trip," which was on about 2,300 screens, would do between $8 million and $10 million over the five days and then play steadily through the holidays.

It won't be helped by the opening on Christmas Day of another mature skewing comedy, Fox's "Parental Guidance," which stars Billy Crystal and Bette Midler.

Paramount's head of distribution Don Harris told TheWrap that he was happy with the "Jack Reacher" debut and still hopeful on "Guilt Trip."

"The over-riding reality is that it's pre-Christmas," Harris said. "What you're trying to do is establish your movie and then see how it plays over the holiday. We're happy with that number for "Jack Reacher" and the CinemaScore (an "A-") is encouraging, too."

He said he thought "Guilt Trip," which played an older (82 percent over 25) and 60 percent female audience that could still find its place in the crowded holiday market. "It will have to hang in, but once we get to Christmas we'll know more, and we think it will play through January.

"Rise of the Guardians," the final DreamWorks Animation movie that Paramount is distributing, is showing some staying power after a slow start. It finished fourth for the weekend in its fifth week, dropping just 15 percent from last week with $6 million. Its overall domestic gross is $80 million.

Also holding strongly was DreamWorks and Disney's Oscar front-runner Lincoln," which was off just 18 percent from last week and finished fifth with $5.7 million. Its overall U.S. total is now $116 million after seven weeks.

Here are the weekend's top 10 movies:
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," $36.7 million
"Jack Reacher," $15.6 million
"This is 40," $12 million
"Rise of the Guardians," $5.9 million
"Guilt Trip," $5.3 million
"Monsters, Inc.," $5 million
"Skyfall," $4.7 million
"Life of Pi," $3.8 million
"Twilight: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2," $2.6 million

More from TheWrap:
TheWrap's 12 Days of Oddball, Offbeat Holiday Movies
'Les Miserables' Tops 'The Hobbit' in Japan Box-Office Debut


Dec 23, 2012 3:52PM
Gameplayer is just another idiot who hasn't even read the reports he's crying about. Try actually reading before running your mouth off about "stories you heard on the intra-netz"

"The AP reported that some 150 animals were housed at a farm near the town of Wellington and that unsafe conditions led to the deaths of horses, goats, chickens and sheep.
Four wranglers have spoken out to the AP, alleging that the farm posed a hazard for horses as the land had such "death traps" as bluffs and sinkholes.
After two horses died, the filmmakers enlisted the American Humane Association to launch an investigation of the farm and hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on upgrading housing and stable facilities in early 2011. The American Humane Association (AHA) was on hand to monitor all use of animals by the production. No animals died or were harmed on set during filming."
Dec 24, 2012 11:05PM
Listen Up You  Uroquy, Orc's Filth.   Gandolf  Will Send You to The Obisss.    Any Dead Animals  WILL be eaten by the Orc's So Fear For Your Own BLOOD.!!    Gandolf Will not save you.!!
Dec 25, 2012 5:50AM
I know by what I heard that the Hobbit is good movie but nobody seems to mention all the innocent animals that were abused and killed making this movie and that should be told to everybody.
Dec 24, 2012 7:02AM
I went to see the hobbit yesterday and it was a long stupid movie, nothing like the book. I hated it
Dec 23, 2012 3:26PM
I have never been a hobbit fan, in any world, shape, or form. Of course, I was not a fan of the "Rings" franchise, either. So, along with Gameplayer and R.Saenz, I will say no thanx to the cruelty of animals, and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-boring movie!!
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