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"Les Miserables" has passed the first hurdle in breaking the movie musical curse. The Tom Hooper adaptation of the London West End and Broadway stage musical grossed another $12.1 million on Tuesday for a spectacular $30.2 million in its first two days of release and the no. 1 spot at the box office. Most stage musical adaptations end up with a big opening, but can fade fast after the hardcore fan base dissipates. That does not appear to be the case with "Les Miserables." Even with mixed reviews, word of mouth is strong and the Universal Pictures release could easily be at $80-90 million by end of day on New Year's Day. I dreamed a dream, indeed.
Also performing very strongly in third place is another newcomer, Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained." The Weinstein Company and Sony Pictures release found another $10 million for $25 million over its first two days. The Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio revisionist history adventure should also cross the $100 million mark within the next two weeks. That's a huge sigh of relief to the Weinstein Company who has had a rougher than expected fourth quarter. Both "Django" and "Les Miseraables" should continue to play strongly through January after Oscar nominations are announced on Dec. 10.
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" isn't performing up to the level of the last two "Lord of the Rings" films, but it did claim the second slot Wednesday with another $11.3 million for $179.6 million domestically. Peter Jackson's adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien classic now has a mammoth $524.6 million globally.
"Parental Guidance" has filled in a minor gap with audiences looking for PG-rated content. The Billy Crystal and Bette Midler comedy is appearing to the AARP crowd, their kids and their grandchildren as it pulled in another $4.3 million Wednesday for $10.6 million in just two days. Budgeted at just $30 million, "Guidance" will easily turn into a solid, profitable double for 20th Century Fox.
"Guidance's" box office so far is impressive in the fact it's out grossing "Jack Reacher" with Tom Cruise (another $3.8 million for $27.3 million to date) and Judd Apatow's "This is 40" (another $3.3 million for $20.7 million to date).
In limited release, "Zero Dark Thirty" continues to impress. In only five theaters, "Thirty" has amassed $956,000 in just eight days.
Look for continuing box office updates throughout the holiday frame on HitFix.