There was stiff competition at this year's Christmas box office, with the second film of the "Hobbit" trilogy holding onto its number one spot for the third straight week.
But for many, the big surprise was "Anchorman 2", which came in at third place with just over 8 million dollars Wednesday night, behind the premiere of "The Wolf of Walt Street".
In the months leading up to the film's release, the "Anchorman 2" marketing blitz bombarded every corner of American media – but many fans weren't biting.
OutFront: Rob Shuter is a former publicist and Host of "The Gossip Table" on VH1.
(EW.com) - This just in: Ron Burgundy is no match for a fire-breathing dragon at the box office.
"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" (CinemaScore: B) beat out "The Hobbit" sequel on Friday, but updated totals show the Will Ferrell-starrer trailing Peter Jackson's fantasy pic for the three-day weekend.
In first place, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" fell about 60 percent and brought in an estimated $31.5 million from 3,903 screens in its second weekend in theaters — spot on with Grady Smith's prediction.
Its domestic take now stands at a healthy $127.5 million. But that total lags behind the first "Hobbit" film by a significant margin. In 2012, "An Unexpected Journey" dropped 56.4 percent in its second weekend, earning nearly $36.9 million and bumping its domestic total to $150 million. That film played in about 200 more theaters and had a stronger opening weekend.
Meanwhile, Paramount's heavily marketed "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" opened in second place with a weekend estimate of $26.8 million. The PG-13 rated sequel opened in 3,507 locations Wednesday and is expected to net about $40 million for its first five days, much lower than EW's prediction. The first "Anchorman" opened in July 2004 to $28.4 million and went on to gross $85.3 million domestically.
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Sam Thielman and Brian Stelter discuss the viral marketing campaigns behind the "Anchorman" sequel.
Tune in to "Reliable Sources" this Sunday at 11 a.m. Eastern! Here's a preview from the program's host Brian Stelter:
In 2010 the Associated Press reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman learned that the United States government had been lying about Robert Levinson, an American who had disappeared in Iran three years earlier. Levinson was not, as government officials claimed, a private investigator who had been in Iran on business. He was a contractor for the C.I.A. The Associated Press and several other news organizations refrained from reporting what they knew about Levinson's identity until this week. Why now?
That's where we will begin "Reliable Sources" this Sunday. The White House says that the publication of stories about Levinson has been "highly irresponsible." The A.P. obviously disagrees. Apuzzo will be on set with me in Washington to discuss.
Before the show, I'd like to know what you think about the C.I.A. spy stories - add a comment at the bottom of this blog post.
Then we'll pivot to this week's Santa controversy. (What an odd thing to write.) Aisha Harris, a culture blogger for Slate magazine, wrote a blog post on Tuesday titled "Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore." By now you've probably heard about the Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's reaction — "Santa just is white" — and the reactions to her reaction, etcetera.
But someone was missing from Kelly's much-talked-about segment on Wednesday: the blogger who started it all. Harris says "Fox didn't bother reaching out to me personally to debate the issue at hand." Maybe Fox reached out to someone else at Slate; I don't know. But when a CNN producer emailed Harris on Friday morning, she replied right away; she'll join me live from New York. (For what it's worth, Fox also apparently tried to book her on Friday; Kelly said on Friday night that Slate "denied our request.")
Later on in the show, we'll look at the recently reignited debate between the White House and the press corps over access with CNN’s national political reporter Peter Hamby, Roll Call's new editor-in-chief Christina Bellantoni and The Blaze's "Hot List" host Amy Holmes. The political panel will also discuss Hamby's exclusive report on Republican plans to overhaul the 2016 primary process.
Republicans are quietly advancing a new set of rules to condense and reform the 2016 primary calendar http://t.co/uDrJBL7NfD
— Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN) December 11, 2013
Here's a segment we have been planning for weeks: the "Anchorman 2" marketing assault. Some analysts have said that Ron Burgundy is showing us the future of movie marketing. I'll ask Adweek's Sam Thielman if he agrees.
[Post-show update: I'd mentioned a segment here about Comcast and a new technology that lets Twitter users tune their TV sets and start watching shows on their mobile devices straight from Twitter. We held the segment for time constraints, so look for it on a future edition of the program.]
See you Sunday!