Box-Office Oracle: 'The Hobbit' Takes on 'Les Miserables' and 'Django Unchained'

Weekend Box-Office Predictions

Current Streak: 2 Straight Weekends #1 Predicted Correctly
Threat Level to Streak Being Broken: 90 percent or so? Every time I attempt one of these coin flip predictions they go horribly awry.
Reason: There are so many questions surrounding this weekend. Is the older dollar going to take it with Les Miserables? Or will the kids support The Hobbit and Django Unchained? Do those two titles hurt each other's chances? Can a nearly three-hour musical top a less than two-hour musical (Mamma Mia) at the box office? Let's break it down!

Les MiserablesLes Miserables exploded onto the scene on Tuesday and hasn't looked back. The film put up a respectable $18 million dollar Christmas Day and followed it up with a sturdy $12 million on Wednesday, a day that is traditionally soft coming off of the holiday. The random question for this segment is will it matter with The Academy? The film is a certain Best Picture nominee, but could a string of box-office wins make it a "buzzier" title? We'll have to find out together, though I welcome your learned opinions on the matter.

Moving on, I'm barely going with Les Miserables at #1 this weekend with $27.8 million. It has already cleared $60 million worldwide and received an "A" Cinemascore, which is something only one of its main rivals can claim. Speaking of ...

The Hobbit: An Expected Journey has passed $520 million worldwide, but it should be worried about that 56.3 percent drop, a number well over 20 percent worse than any of the Lord of the Rings films. In fact, I'd say the only reason The Hobbit has a credible chance at the weekend crown is that Les Miserables is also crushingly long, audiences are getting their pick of three-hour time commitments this weekend, especially once you count their commute and trailers.

My prediction on The Hobbit? Well, it's only a fraction lower than Les Mis at $27.7 million. There couldn't possibly be a tie... could there?

Django Unchained is the outlier for Cinemascore, only garnering an "A-" which we've learned is around a B- back in the real world. The reason for the lower grade has to be the gnarly content, though it's worth noting for box-office purposes that Inglourious Basterds received the same "A-".

Django put up a $15 million Tuesday, taking second place in the process, before settling at $10 million on Wednesday. 2007 is the last time Christmas fell on a Tuesday, and the box office jumped up 10 percent versus the prior weekend, with the broad actioner National Treasure: Book of Secrets taking the crown. Still, there weren't any huge new releases, and Oscar films were still trickling in (No Country for Old Men was still under 1,000 theaters) so I'm not sure how much to divine from that weekend. All things considered, I'm going with $24.1 million for Django, coming in #3.

As for the comedies, it's either a prime example of a dumping ground or a prime example of a too crowded market place, as This is 40, The Guilt Trip and Parental Guidance are all struggling to gain a foothold. If you added all three together they would have gotten second place on Tuesday and slid to fourth place on Wednesday, but my guess is Fox, Universal and Paramount don't have that arrangement.

The final news of the weekend is Silver Linings Playbook gaining an additional 400 theaters. This should allow it to grab a third week (non-consecutive) in the top ten.

Enough pontification, how say you? You've got a spirited number of new releases to consider, as well as a legit horse race for the gold medal. The final factor could be how all this plays for the Oscar race and just when Silver Linings will be making its final push. Predictions away!

SIDE NOTE: Some of the theater numbers below are estimates. We'll have the actual counts in Sunday's wrap-up article.

Laremy's Box-Office Predictions for December 28 - December 30, 2012

  1. Les Miserables was #1 at the box-office
  2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey () - $27.7 million
    Playing in 4,100 theaters ($6,756 avg.) / 65%
  3. Django Unchained () - $24.1 million
    Playing in 3,010 theaters ($8,007 avg.) / 88%
  4. This is 40 () - $12.7 million
    Playing in 2,912 theaters ($4,361 avg.) / $35 million budget / 51%
  5. Jack Reacher () - $12.5 million
    Playing in 3,362 theaters ($3,718 avg.) / $60 million budget / 62%
  6. Parental Guidance () - $10.1 million
    Playing in 3,367 theaters ($3,000 avg.) / 19%
  7. Silver Linings Playbook () - $5.6 million
    Playing in 745 theaters ($7,517 avg.) / $21 million budget / 92%
  8. Monsters, Inc. () - $5.2 million
    Playing in 2,618 theaters ($1,986 avg.)
  9. The Guilt Trip () - $5.1 million
    Playing in 2,431 theaters ($2,098 avg.) / $40 million budget / 37%
  10. Lincoln () - $4 million
    Playing in 1,966 theaters ($2,035 avg.) / $65 million budget / 89%
Click here to browse our box-office charts and compare Laremy's predictions
  • Andrew J.S.

    Les Miz - 31.2
    The Hobbit - 24.4
    Django Unchained - 20.1
    Jack Reacher - 11.7
    Parental Guidance - 11.6
    This Is 40 - 10.3
    Lincoln - 5.7
    The Guilt Trip - 4.5
    Silver Linings Playbook - 4.4
    Monsters Inc. - 4.1

  • Jack

    1. Les Miserables- $28 million
    2. The Hobbit- $24 million
    3. Django Unchained- $21 million
    4. Parental Guidance- $11 million
    5. Jack Reacher- $10 million
    6. This is 40- $8.5 million
    7. Lincoln- $4 million
    8. Silver Linings Playbook- $3 million
    9. Monsters Inc- $2.5 million
    10. Guilt Trip- $1.5million

  • Will-E

    Les Mis - 32
    Django - 30
    Hobbit - 22.75
    Parental Guidance - 9.8
    Jack Reacher - 8.58
    This is 40 - 6.4
    Silver Linings - 5.35
    Lincoln - 4.36
    Rise of the Guardians - 4.13
    The Guilt Trip - 2.3

  • Corbin

    Les Mis- $28.4 mil.
    Hobbit- $25.8 mil.
    Django- $21.5 mil.
    Jack Reacher- $14.2 mil.
    Parental Guidance- $12.9 mil.

  • Ian

    I got a bit taken in by the Christmas numbers; it seems things came back to earth yesterday. It's still a three-horse race, but my guess is that Les Mis pulls ahead. It has the best buzz (Django's buzz is of the controversial nature) and isn't R. It should be very close between The Hobbit and Django for second though.

    And yes, this is the point where Les Mis has to start building some more buzz if it's going to remain the Best Picture frontrunner. I'll have more of an idea after seeing it if it's really the type of film the Academy will just eat up regardless, but being on top of the box office certainly helps its chances. Unfortunately Django appears to be DOA on the Awards circuit.

    1. Les Miserables, $34 million.
    2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, $29 million.
    3. Django Unchained, $28 million.

    Seeing Les Mis tomorrow night and Django at some point between Saturday and New Year's Eve (Monday). Richmond's new four screen art house opens this weekend, but they don't have any must sees for me.

  • Bustray

    1. Les Miserables- 37 million
    2. The Hobbit- 35 million
    3. Django Unchained- 32 million

  • The Dude

    "which we've learned is around a B- back in the real world."

    What does this mean?

    • jess E

      I think he means that the A received by "Les Mis" is actually a B in the real world.

  • jay

    The Hobbit was a long and cartoonish joke that is only making money because of dedicated fanboys. Besides being full of unnecessary fluff (which completely overshadows our main hero, Bilbo Baggins,) some scenes almost made me walk out of the theater: warg wolves being beaten by a rabbit-drawn sled? Really, Peter Jackson??? Half-retarded wizards pulling bugs out of their mouths? Goblins that look like aliens from Phantom Menace?

  • jess E

    "The Hobbit was a long and cartoonish joke that is only making money because of dedicated fanboys"

    I was thinking the same about "Les Mis". I mean people are singing their hearts out while at the same time getting blown up by canon fire with dead bloodied bodies and carnage all around and they call this a romantic musical. ???

  • Sensei White Lotus

    Well, we "almost" agreed this week.

    1. The Hobbit - 31 Million.

    2. Les Miserables - 27 Million.

    3. Django Unchained - 25 Million.

    4. Jack Reacher – 16 Million.

    5. Parental Guidance - 12 Million.

    #. Silver Linings Playbook - 5 Million

  • Athar

    1.) The Hobbit - $ 35.2 million
    2.) Les Miserables - $ 29 million
    3.) Django Unchained - $ 26.5 million
    4.) Jack Reacher - $ 14 million
    5.) This is 40 - $ 12.3 million

  • Winchester

    Its too late to count now but hey ho!

    1. The Hobbit $32.7 million

    2. Les Miserables $30.3 million

    3. Django Unchained $26.8 million

    Further down I think maybe around $10 - $12 million apiece range for Forty, Jack Reacher and Parental Guidance.

    Maybe $4 - $5 million for Playbook and Lincoln.

  • Travis

    Les Mis 24.6
    the Hobbit 22.1
    Django 18.7

    Although, Laremy, your Mamma Mia comparison leaves another factor: Mamma Mia is fun, and although you are only an hour in, I'm sure you know Les Mis is...somewhat sad

  • Jordan B.

    I think your ranking is spot on, Laremy. Not sure on the numbers, but I too see Les Miz on top, followed closely by The Hobbit in second with Django a few million behind in third.

  • Yaz

    Django with 20 million.

  • Cordia

    Les miserable 31.7
    Hobbit 28.1
    Django 25.3
    Jack Reacher 13.3
    This is 40 12.2
    Parental ... 9.9
    Silver Linings 5.8

  • Gerberzy

    The Hobbit- 30.6 million
    Les Miserable- 25.4 million
    Django Unchained- 23.1 million
    This is 40- 12.3 million
    Jack Reach-around- 12.1 million
    Parental Guidance- 12.0 million
    Silver Linings- 6.5 million

  • anthony caban

    I saw Django yesterday and it was pretty awesome.who ever doesnt vote for django is a quentin tarrantino hater.that's just awful not to vote for looks awesome so i would say Django for #1.

    • adu

      Your logic is spectacular.

      • anthony caban

        your face is stupid

        • GregDinskisk

          I really hope you're kidding when you type this out... it's spectacular hahahahahahah!!!!!!

  • anthony caban

    1.Django Unchained $27 million
    2.Les Mis $25 million
    3.The Hobbit $21 million

  • wally west

    1.Django $38 million
    2.The Hobbit $26 million
    3.Les Mis $25 million

  • The Jackal

    I'm thinking The Hobbit will cruise to victory for a third time. Its numbers have received quite the bump since Christmas.

    1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - $27.8 million
    2. Les Miserables - $25.0 million
    3. Django Unchained - $24.6 million
    4. Jack Reacher - $12.3 million
    5. This is 40 - $11.9 million

    Thems the facts