Good media discernment is about guarding our eyes and hearts before we watch or listen. And it's also about grappling with the entertainment we do see or hear. That's why the Plugged In Blog is devoted to guarding, discussing and grappling.
So, imagine it's Christmas morning, and you unwrap a present that contains, oh, $50 million or so.
Now, imagine being disappointed that it's not more.
That sums up the holiday weekend for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Yeah, director Peter Jackson's first Hobbit movie was given a nice little bundle by moviegoers. It made an estimated $37.9 million during the traditional Friday-through-Sunday weekend, and pilfered another $10.8 mil on Christmas Day alone (figures haven't been released for Christmas Eve, but you gotta figure it was enough to push The Hobbit's five-day total past the $50 million mark).
But The Hobbit lost about 57% of its audience, weekend-over-weekend, which puts this latest Middle Earth escapade well behind its Lord of the Rings forebears. Even though the movie has already crested $150 million in its brief run, there could be some dour dwarves over at Warner Brothers.
Still, The Hobbit easily coasted to its second weekend box office victory—cruising past Tom Cruise and his cinematic alter-ego, Jack Reacher. Cruise's PG-13 actioner pocketed an estimated $15.6 million over the weekend for second place. In third was another newcomer, This is 40. When the makers of this crass but sometimes sweet R-rated comedy finished counting the estimated receipts (is it possible to actually count estimated receipts?), they turned to one another and said, "This is $12 million."
Rise of the Guardians and Lincoln finished fourth and fifth for the weekend, earning $5.9 and $5.5 million, respectively—spoiling the debut of the Seth Rogan/Barbra Streisand road comedy The Guilt Trip. But Guardians and Lincoln themselves would not even be in the conversation if we were including figures for Christmas Day, in which another pair of newcomers made impressive debuts.
Les Misérables, a highly touted musical featuring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, banked an estimated $18 million in just one day, topping all of its many merry Christmas rivals. Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino's bloody race-and-slavery tale, gunned its way to an ironically tidy $15.5 million for a Christmas Day second. The day's third big new release, Parental Guidance, finished Christmas with $7 million, shy of The Hobbit but besting Jack Reacher for fourth.
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