The Christmas weekend box office continued strong Friday with "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," "Into the Woods" and "Unbroken" leading the way.
The three holiday movies are each on pace to gross at least $45 million over the four-day period, which would boost the year's final weekend by as much as 10% from last year's total.
The third and perhaps final "Hobbit" movie (never say never with this franchise) has now grossed $142.75 million in its first 10 days, putting it ahead of the $127.5-million 10-day take of last year's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." Peter Jackson's film, like its two predecessors, wasn't a critical favorite, but did manage an A- grade with market research firm Cinemascore.
"Into the Woods" and "Unbroken" continue to run about even at the box office. "Woods," Disney's adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical take on the Brothers Grimm, looks to take in an estimated $48 million over the four-day weekend. Reviews have mostly been strong, and moviegoers gave it a B with Cinemascore, indicating general satisfaction.
Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken," a dutiful portrait of Louis Zamperini, the Olympic runner and World War II bombardier who spent two years in Japanese prison camps, is looking at an estimated four-day finish of $47 million.
Critics, for the most part, disliked the movie, but audiences have reacted differently, giving it an A- grade with Cinemascore. The film's commercial hopes could receive another boost should it win some love from Oscar voters next month.
Meanwhile, "The Interview" took in another $725,000 on Friday, a decline of 33% from Christmas Day, when it earned $1 million. The weekend's two other new releases -- the Mark Wahlberg drama "The Gambler" and Tim Burton's "Big Eyes" -- are on track for four-day totals of $14 million and $4 million, respectively.