I hope you guys enjoyed your Christmas. In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Les Misérables and Django Unchained debuted Christmas day with a bang. Les Mis, which received the worst reviews of the two placed first on Tuesday with $18.1 million and Django, which was much more well received, placed second with $15 million. It may have been due to "N-wordgate" or because of the objectionable material but I thought Django would go on to become the big winner. For this weekend, I see another big film placing first.
Les Mis, directed by The King’s Speech helmer, Tom Hooper (who is by no means Tobe Hooper) has been on the minds of many for months. Something that was different about this iteration of Les Mis is that the songs are sung live on camera and not in a studio, though I highly all songs are sung live; maybe a bit touching up in post with ADR. Les Mis has been adapted probably a dozen or more times, on screen and on and off Broadway.
In 2000, a version starred John Malkovich and Gérard Depardieu hit TV screens to much great reception and the last film version starring Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush came out in 1998, placing fourth to He Got Game with $5 million. Of course, that amount isn’t adjusted for inflation. With inflation Les Mis (1998) made a little over $7.07 million. Not a lot for today. Christmas day, the 2012 version made $18.1 million and the next day made $12.1 million. I see it pushing through in first place through the weekend earning $30 million.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey outperformed Django on Wednesday by $1.3 million. With the controversy surrounding Django, the money could fall in either direction. It could prove successful for the film or it could be detrimental to its success. What some may see as an uplifting tale of a slave overcoming the odds and turning the tables on his ‘Birth of a Nation’ white folks, others (who I will not particular-Lee name) have said it is down right disrespectful.
I don’t know, last time Tarantino changed history was with Inglourious Basterds back in 2009. He killed Hitler in that and it sprung to number one with $38 million. He has had plenty of number one hit films like Kill Bill (one movie, two volumes) and Pulp Fiction with a couple of misses like Jackie Brown and Grindhouse. Where will Django fall? With a tough subject matter and very uncomfortable scenes, I see Django placing third with $25 million. The Hobbit will beat out Django by a slim margin with $27 million.
1. Les Miserables $30 M
2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $27 M
3. Django Unchained $25 M
4. Jack Reacher $11.7 M
5. This is 40 $9 M