Christmas Box Office: ‘Les Miserables’ Beats ‘Django Unchained,’ ‘The Hobbit’

It seems moviegoers who ventured out on Christmas Day to see a flick were more interested in a depressing musical than a violent western. Director Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the popular Broadway production has landed at the top of the domestic box office.

According to Collider, the musical starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and Russell Crowe earned around $18 million at the US box office. Hooper’s film received decidedly mixed reviews from critics, though this didn’t stop folks from paying good money to see it on the big screen.

Riding into the second place position on Christmas Day was Quentin Tarantino’s controversial Civil War western Django Unchained. The film, which star Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, and Leonardo DiCaprio, earned around $15 million on opening day. This number isn’t bad considering the film’s subject matter and its R rating.

CNN reports that Peter Jackson’s fantasy epic The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey slid to third place with $10 million in box office receipts. To date, the director’s highly-anticipated return to Middle Earth has already earned $168 million during its domestic theatrical run.

Unfortunately, the Billy Crystal and Bette Midler comedy Parental Guidance wasn’t exactly a holiday treat for the folks at 20th Century Fox. Despite opening in around 3,300 locations, the comedy only managed to bring in $6.4 million on Christmas Day.

Rounding out the top five is the Tom Cruise action flick Jack Reacher. The film earned a modest $5.3 million in the US on December 25. Since opening last Friday, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed feature has quietly brought in $23 million. While the film could still recoup its $60 million budget, these numbers are admittedly low for a Tom Cruise movie released around the holidays.

Judd Apatow’s $35 million comedy This is 40, a kind-of sequel to his 2007 hit Knocked Up, also had trouble finding its footing. Since opening on December 21, the film has only earned $17 million.

According to The Huffington Post, the US box office earned a whopping $10.8 billion over the span of 2012. More importantly, the number of ticket sales actually went up for the first time in nearly three years. These numbers were likely helped by some strong Christmas Day performers.