'Hobbit' fever beats Tom Cruise at box office
Updated: 2012-12-24 10:14
Sales over the coming days are expected to push 2012 to a domestic box office record. The year is on track to finish with $10.8 billion worth of ticket sales in the North American (US and Canadian) market, according to a projection from box office tracker Hollywood.com. The current record is $10.6 billion, set in 2009.
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Over the weekend, "Jack Reacher" debuted just days after the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting sparked new debate about the impact of movie violence. "Reacher" begins with a sniper killing a handful of seemingly random victims. A red-carpet premiere and a screening to promote the $60-million production were postponed after the Newtown tragedy.
"We opened pre-Christmas with our eyes wide open," said Don Harris, Paramount's president of domestic distribution, adding that he expected the film's box office take to grow over the coming weeks. He said the Newtown shooting had "no effect" on the movie's opening.
Before the weekend, the studio had predicted sales of $12 million to $15 million.
Adult comedy "This is 40" stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann as a middle-aged couple. The studio billed the $35 million production from "Bridesmaids" producer Judd Apatow as a "sort-of sequel" to 2007 comedy "Knocked Up".
The president of domestic distribution for Universal, Nikki Rocco, said the film exceeded the studio's estimates for opening prior to a mid-week Christmas, and dismissed talk of a Judd Apatow slump since his comedy "Bridesmaids," which opened to $26.3 million in May 2011.
"Adults have choices at this time of year," Rocco said, citing the broad slate of films already on offer and those opening on Christmas day.