Box Office Numbers: WWII Epic ‘Unbroken’ Wins Christmas Day

Angelina Jolie’s World War II drama Unbroken delivered big for Universal Pictures on Christmas Day, becoming the third highest-earning Christmas Day release ever.

The film grossed a staggering $15.6 million from 3,131 locations Thursday, third all time only behind Sherlock Holmes in 2009 at $24.6 million, and Les Miserables in 2012 at $18.1 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Unbroken, which was directed by Jolie and stars Jack O’Connell as World War II hero Louis Zamperini, is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling biography of the same name.

Into the Woods was a close second, grossing an estimated $15.1 million from 2,440 locations. The adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical features Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Johnny Depp and combines elements of classic fairy tales.

Some forecasters predict both Unbroken and Into the Woods will bring in upwards of $40 million over the extended holiday weekend, well ahead of forecasts.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies earned $13.1 million for a domestic total of $127.1 million.

Sony’s highly anticipated and controversial film The Interview, was released to 330 independent theaters and made available for VOD streaming after the studio changed course this week, however the film only grossed $1 million.

Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer commented, “Considering the incredibly challenging circumstances, we are extremely grateful to the people all over the country who came out to experience The Interview on the first day of its unconventional release.”

Paramount’s The Gambler, starring Mark Wahlberg, and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes were the other two Christmas openers.

The Gambler earned $5 million from 2,478 theaters on Thursday, while Big Eyes brought home $1.5 million from 1,307 locations.

The Imitation Game expanded late into a total of 747 theaters, grossing $3.1 million on Thursday for a domestic total of $6.7 million.

Paramount’s civil rights-era drama Selma, opened in 19 theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta and earned $317,000, while American Sniper debuted in extremely limited fashion in only four theaters, bringing in an impressive $240,000.

American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, is now the highest grossing Christmas Day limited opening of all time.


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