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Holiday movies at the box office

By Rahul Darwar
On January 21, 2013

The holiday season is always a big time for Hollywood and often accounts for a significant portion of the year's box office grosses. Moviegoers on vacation with time and money to spend together with high-quality movies released late in the year for Academy Award nominations made this holiday season one of the best in recent years. Two buzzed-about movies that opened on Christmas Day were Quentin Tarantino's slavery-themed western "Django Unchained" (Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson) and a film adaption of the well-known musical "Les Miserables" (Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe).
Both movies have done exceptionally well at the box office so far with "Django" grossing a total of $138 million as of Jan. 20 and "Les Miserables" close behind with a total of $130 million. Both movies were helped by increased publicity surrounding the use of provocative language in Django and the Academy Award nominated performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" by Anne Hathaway in "Les Miserables." The thriller "Zero Dark Thirty" (Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke) based on the capture of Osama Bin Laden by a team of Navy Seals in Pakistan which opened in late December has made a respectable $55 million so far. That movie was helped by two high-profile controversies created by members of Congress when certain Republicans alleged that the Obama Administration gave filmmakers illegal information which was followed by some Democrats alleging that the movie falsely portrayed the use of torture by intelligence agents. One of the most successful movies from the end of 2012 was Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit," which opened to $84 million on Dec. 14 and has made an additional $204 million for a total gross of $288 million. "The Hobbit" will probably end up making less than the movies from Jackson's earlier "Lord of the Rings" trilogy but still made enough to become the No. 6 highest grossing movie of 2012.
However, not every movie released recently did as well at the box office, with many bombing due to tough competition. The mother-son road trip comedy "The Guilt Trip" (Seth Rogen, Barbara Streisand) only opened to $5 million and has only grossed $35 million as of this weekend. The Tom Cruise movie "Jack Reacher" (based on the popular book series by Lee Childs) also didn't do as well as many had expected. The action thriller only opened to $15 million, caused by the crowded batch of movies and the negative press surrounding Tom Cruise's personal life. "This is 40," a partial sequel to "Knocked Up," by writer/director Judd Apatow staring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann had a mediocre opening weekend grossing $11 million but continues to be mildly popular and has made an additional $54 million for a grand total of $65 million as of Jan 20.
Overall, the 2012-2013 holiday season was great business for Hollywood and great entertainment for moviegoers.

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