New releases have a habit of floundering in January, which tends to be one of Hollywood's biggest dumping grounds. Even this year's big January horror release, which is commonly a sure thing, floundered. What does tend to do well are the prestige pictures that opened late in the previous year (often in limited release) and finally expand in the new year, riding awards momentum to solid box office.

Of course, this is just a roundabout way of saying that Peter Berg's 'Lone Survivor' emerged from limited release this week to kick everyone's ass at the box office.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1Lone Survivor$38,511,000 (+45,283.4)$13,395$38,892,000
2Frozen$15,070,000 (-23.0)$4,653$317,661,000
3The Wolf of Wall Street$9,000,000 (-32.0)$3,570$78,587,000
4The Legend of Hercules$8,600,000$4,087$8,600,000
5American Hustle$8,600,000 (-30.7)
6The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$8,015,000 (-48.9)$2,607$242,219,000
7August: Osage County$7,315,000 (+5,128.2)$8,083$7,860,000
8Saving Mr. Banks$6,578,000 (-24.3)$2,463$68,949,000
9Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones$6,300,000 (-65.7)$2,185$28,471,000
10Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$6,100,000 (-42.6)$2,025$118,518,000


With a $38 million opening weekend, the Afghanistan-set war movie has effortlessly become one of the most successful movies dealing with this particular subject matter. If 'The Hurt Locker' can win Best Picture with anemic box office numbers, does this mean 'Lone Survivor' has gold in its future? Maybe. Who knows. We're here to talk about box office, not Oscars. Anyway, America really came out for this one and unless it sinks like a stone next week, it's going to be profitable in the very near future.

In second place, Disney's 'Frozen' continued to heat up (haha) the charts, grossing $15 million for a $317 million total. That puts it only $50 million away from 'Despicable Me 2,' which is currently the highest grossing animated film released in 2013. If if maintains this momentum (and it certainly isn't slowing down yet), there's a strong chance it'll beat it. Of course, Disney is just laughing and clinking champagne glasses at this point. Any extra money is just icing.

In third place, 'The Wolf of Wall Street' held on better than expected, grossing $9 million for a $78 million total. $100 million would be a huge victory for a movie like this and unless something goes wrong, it should be able to get there. It's gonna be close, though. Meanwhile, 'American Hustle' (the other movie about white collar criminals in the top 10) crossed the $100 million mark this week. As Oscar momentum gets going, it should keep speeding up rather than slowing down.

Oh, and 'The Legend of Hercules' came out and no one saw it.

The bottom half of the top 10 this week was led by 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,' which is officially looking like the lowest grossing Middle Earth movie to date. With $300 million out of the question, the film will have to make do with a final gross of around $270 million or so.

Like 'Lone Survivor,' 'August: Osage County' also expanded wide this week, but the totals weren't quite as strong. With $7 million over the weekend, the film is probably hoping to nab some Oscar nods in a few weeks for a much-needed boost. Right below it, 'Saving Mr. Banks' did much better -- with $68 million grossed so far, it has showed legs that flashier films would kill for.

And then we arrive at 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,' which plummeted 65% and fell seven spots since last weekend. It's undoubtedly going to be the lowest grossing film in the franchise, but is it a full-on franchise killer? Since 'Paranormal Activity 5' is still in the works, we'll say no. But this series can't let this happen again.

More From US 103.1 FM