December Movies that Took the Top Spots at the Box Office

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
January 4th, 2014

December Movies that Took the Top Spots at the Box Office

December is the time of year when almost everybody feels the rush of the holidays, and Hollywood production outfits are crowding the already jam-packed Oscar season. Speaking of Christmas and the Oscars, there's barely enough space under the tree for all the movies that came out in December. Some films flew under the radar, but many are box-office hits. Here are some of the most successful movies of December 2013:


"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

The second movie in the "Hobbit" trilogy tops the box-office gross for the month of December. "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" opened on December 2, 2013, in domestic theaters and topped the box office with sales of $31.5 million in North America. It opened at number one, raking in a whopping $75 million on its first weekend, and it continued to dominate the worldwide charts when it was released internationally on December 13. After three weeks in theaters, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" stands at a healthy $127 million, a slight lag behind the first movie, which bumped its domestic total to $150 million. It should be noted, however, that the "The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey" opened in 200 more theaters in 2012.



"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues"

The long-awaited sequel to the tongue-in-cheek movie "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" opened in cinemas on December 18, 2013. "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" received positive reviews and managed to open in second place at the box office after "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." It fared well on its weekend run with an estimate of $26.8 million, a decent performance for a heavily marketed PG-13 movie. Its weekend gross to date is $40 million, and it's expected to rake in more ticket sales during the holidays. It would be interesting to see if it can exceed the box-office success of the first film, which went on to gross $85 million domestically.




"Frozen," Disney's Christmas offering in 2013, proves to be a box-office success. The computer-animated musical fantasy film opened to an underwhelming $19 million total in its first week but went on to gross about $191.6 million during its four-week run in domestic theaters. Its current worldwide gross is $344.2 million.



"American Hustle"

Sony's crime comedy-drama opened to a relatively low $740,455 during its limited release, but "American Hustle" lived up to the hype when it premiered in North American theaters on December 20, 2013. The movie's viewers steadily increased after it premiered in general theaters, and its sales current total $20,220,301, a decent figure for a movie's first weekend gross. A strong Oscar contender, "American Hustle" is expected to draw in more moviegoers as the Oscar season approaches. It doesn't hurt that the movie has a star-studded cast in Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, and Jennifer Lawrence, who all have their fair share of blockbuster hits.



"Saving Mr. Banks"

"Saving Mr. Banks" is a meta-film that revolves around the development of Walt Disney's "Mary Poppins." Tom Hanks play the role of Walt Disney, while Emma Thompson portrays author P. L. Travers, the creator of the magical character Mary Poppins. The film hit North American theaters on December 13, 2013, and opened to a $413,373 total on its first day. It went on to gross $9,344,381 during the weekend. It currently ranks fifth among December films after two weeks in domestic theaters. "Saving Mr. Banks" is a strong contender for Best Picture and Best Actress at the Academy Awards in 2014.



"Out of the Furnace"

"Out of the Furnace" had its wide release in North American theaters on December 6, 2013. Christian Bale and Casey Affleck star in this thriller, which was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Ridley Scott. It received mixed reviews but managed to open to a decent gross of $1.8 million on its opening day. Its weekend and total gross are a bit underwhelming, as it only took in $5,220,288 in its first week and managed to make its current total of $10,925,000 after three weeks.

Other movies that fared well but were not able to surpass the ten million mark are Fox's "Walking with the Dinosaurs," the Bollywood action thriller "Dhoom 3," and the Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis."