What's even more crowded than Santa's sack of goodies on Christmas Day? Your local movie theater, apparently.
As usual for this time of year, the studios saved some of their most enticing releases for the last couple weeks of the year, unleashing a ton of Oscar hopefuls as well as a few more family-friendly offerings in hopes of luring people away from the mistletoe and toward the multiplex.
And in several cases, it worked. Les Miserables and Django Unchained both had huge opening day numbers... though not every film released found its intended audience.
Les Miserables' $18.2 million Christmas Day opening was the very opposite of miserable, making for a very nice Christmas gift for those at Universal. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it's the highest opening day ever for a musical, as well as the highest-grossing weekday Christmas opening of all time. (Not too shabby for a Tuesday.)
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Django Unchained also proved to be a nice bit of counter-programming. The ultraviolent slavery drama emancipated itself to the tune of $15 million, which is the highest R-rated Christmas opener.
Both films' Oscar chances will be boosted by their popularity with audiences, and we can expect similarly large numbers in the coming week and weekend, and well into January.
The other "big" Christmas Day release didn't have quite such a merry holiday — the critically-panned family comedy Parental Guidance came in with a tepid $6.3 million, while films released last Friday — amidst the hustle and bustle of travel and shopping — Jack Reacher, The Guilt Trip, and This Is 40 continued to disappoint. It was The Hobbit that held on strong, coming in third after Les Mis and Django with $11.3 million on Christmas Day.
Have you checked out any Christmas releases yet?