Lone Survivor opens second January debut with 39 million; CBS to air Hollywood Film Awards; Kung Fu Panda and Monsters vs. Aliens swap Saturday afternoon timeslot with new episodes each

Universal’s Lone Survivor triumphs what Battleship couldn’t! I’m Realistic Fish Head. The battle lines were drawn Friday when Universal’s battlefield action packed movie Lone Survivor shot 14 million eager to shoot out Frozen who was in the #1 spot for 8 weeks in a row. The mission was simple of what Battleship failed to do: beat the numbers! Did the plan go exactly as it did Gene?

Gene:

Universal’s Lone Survivor exceeded expectations in a big way this weekend with an estimated first place take of $38.51 million. The Peter Berg directed war film starring Mark Wahlberg delivered the second largest unadjusted opening weekend ever for the month of January (behind only the $40.06 million three-day start of 2008’s Cloverfield). Lone Survivor opened an impressive 58 percent stronger than the $24.44 million take of Zero Dark Thirty during its first weekend of wide release last January. Lone Survivor marks another strong box office performance for Wahlberg (who has had a number of films exceed expectations over his career) and represents a rebound for Berg after the disappointing performance of 2012’s Battleship.

Lone Survivor grossed $14.4 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.5 million from late night Thursday shows), was up slightly on Saturday to take in $14.5 million and is estimated to fall 34 percent on Sunday to gross $9.61 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.67 to 1. It should be noted that the film was likely more front-loaded towards Friday’s performance than it normally would have been due to NFL playoff games this weekend on Saturday and Sunday. With an A+ CinemaScore rating, long-term prospects look strong for Lone Survivor going forward. The audience breakdown for Lone Survivor skewed towards male moviegoers (57 percent) and moviegoers 30 years and older (57 percent).

Disney’s Frozen finished in second place this weekend with an estimated $15.07 million. The 3D computer animated blockbuster continued to hold up very nicely, as it was down a slim 23 percent from last weekend. This weekend’s performance represented the fourth largest unadjusted seventh weekend gross ever for a film in wide release (behind only Avatar, Titanic and The Passion of the Christ). Frozen has now grossed a massive $317.66 million to date, which ranks it as the fourth highest grossing release of 2013 domestically. With the aid of the Martin Luther King holiday, Frozen should be able to hold up very well once again next weekend.

Awards season hopefuls The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle both continued to hold up well this weekend. Paramount’s The Wolf of Wall Street was down 32 percent to place in third with an estimated $9.00 million, while Sony’s American Hustle was down 31 percent to place in fourth (tied with The Legend of Hercules) with an estimated $8.60 million. American Hustle surpassed the $100 million mark this weekend and has now grossed $101.56 million after 24 days of wide release. The Wolf of Wall Street has grossed $78.59 million after 19 days of release. The two films will find themselves in another battle tonight, as both are Golden Globe nominees for Best Musical or Comedy.

Lionsgate’s The Legend of Hercules debuted in fifth place (tied with American Hustle) with an estimated $8.60 million. While the Renny Harlin directed 3D action-adventure film starring Kellan Lutz opened in line with its modest expectations, the film’s performance was disappointing with its cost in mind. The Legend of Hercules performed very similarly to the $8.68 million debut of The Eagle back in February of 2011. The Legend of Hercules opened with $3.08 million on Friday, increased 11 percent on Saturday to gross $3.43 million and is estimated to fall 39 percent on Sunday to take in $2.09 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.79 to 1. The Legend of Hercules received a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore. While that is an improvement over the film’s very poor critical reviews, it in itself isn’t a promising sign for the film going forward either.

The audience breakdown for The Legend of Hercules skewed towards male moviegoers (57 percent) and moviegoers over 25 (55 percent). 3D grosses were responsible for 49 percent of this weekend’s overall gross.

Warner’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug placed in sixth with an estimated $8.02 million. That represented a sharp 49 percent decline from last weekend, as the film clearly took a hit from new direct competition from both Lone Survivor and The Legend of Hercules. The Desolation of Smaug has grossed $242.22 million in 31 days. That places the film 13 percent behind the $278.21 million 31-day take of 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The Weinstein Company’s August: Osage County had a healthy expansion this weekend with an estimated $7.32 million from just 905 locations. That gave the film a promising per-location average of $8,083 and ranked the film in seventh place among all films this weekend. While August: Osage County isn’t a favorite to receive a Best Picture nomination, the combined star power of Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts certainty made up for the lack of awards buzz this weekend. August: Osage County grossed $2.20 million on Friday, was up a strong 41 percent on Saturday to gross $3.10 million and is estimated to fall 35 percent on Sunday to gross $2.02 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.33 to 1, which is a very good early sign going forward. August: Osage County has grossed $7.86 million to date.

Despite stronger awards season prospects, Warner’s Her was less impressive in its expansion this weekend. The Spike Jonze directed film starring Joaquin Phoenix placed in eleventh with an estimated $5.41 million from 1,729 locations. That was below expectations, which had been inflated a bit from the film’s strong three-week performance in limited release. The expansion of Her ended up being similar to the expansion of 2012’s The Master, which grossed just $4.39 million in its first major weekend of release (from 788 locations) on the heels of a strong platform start. Going forward, Her will hope to hold up better than The Master did, though the film’s B- rating on CinemaScore and estimated weekend to Friday ratio of 2.97 to 1 are both a bit concerning. Her has grossed $8.81 million to date.

To recap, Lone Survivor gets guns-a-blazing in 1st as Peter Berg rebounds from the Battleship flop, Frozen drops 2nd after the longest stay in the top spot, Wolf of Wall Street holds in 3rd, Legend of Hercules debuts 4th while American Hustle gets tied up in 5th along with Hercules percentage-wise.

Some say that Sunday’s Golden Globes marks the start of awards season. But that changed on Tuesday when CBS teamed up with Dick Clark Productions to fill up the schedule. What award show will we see here Angie?

Angie Angelfish (via Dateline Hollywood)- CBS is looking to launch another major film awards show franchise with the Hollywood Film Awards. The network has signed a multi-year broadcast TV agreement with Dick Clark Prods. to begin televising the event starting this year.

Founded by Carlos de Abreu, the Hollywood Film Awards are known for marking the kickoff of the Hollywood awards season and for their ability to attract A-list talent. “The Hollywood Film Awards is a star-filled, fun night full of surprises, and the first stop out of the gate kicking off the film awards season,” said CBS’ head of specials Jack Sussman. Added Dick Clark Prods. CEO Allen Shapiro, “The Hollywood Film Awards and Carlos de Abreu have done a great job over the past 17 years honoring the best of the best in Hollywood, creating one of the most stellar, star-studded events of the year.”

Dick Clark Prods., producer of the Golden Globe Awards, American Music Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards, signaled its plans to turn the Hollywood Film Awards into another TV franchise last summer when the production company made an investment in the event,  partnering with de Abreu. Meanwhile, CBS had been looking for a marquee film ceremony to add to its awards portfolio that includes the Grammys, the Tony’s, the Primetime Emmy Awards (shared with the other broadcast networks) and the Academy of Country Music Awards, which is produced by Dick Clark Prods. Several years ago, CBS made a play for the Golden Globes before Dick Clark inked a new deal with NBC. “We look forward to building on our relationship with CBS with an awards show that recognizes the best in movie making, where talent are selected as honorees and not nominees,” said Dick Clark Prods. president Mike Mahan. “The show is full of unique moments, with presenters carefully selected to present awards to the year’s honorees, creating a night with an array of emotion, comedy and surprises.”

This season’s event created a media frenzy with the appearance of Kanye West to present the Breakout Director Award to 12 Years A Slave helmer Steve McQueen shortly before the rapper’s grandiose marriage proposal to Kim Kardashian the same night. The first-ever Hollywood Film Awards gala took place in October 1997 in the Blossom Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, with Kirk Douglas taking home the inaugural Hollywood Lifetime Achievement Award.

Team Monster and Team Po are back again this year after airing new episodes on a separate timeslot last year. As of next weekend, both teams are swapping new episodes this year. Which DreamWorks animated team has the upper hand Dan?

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Nickelodeon has added premieres of Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness to its line-up starting this week. The co-produced DreamWorks series will alternate weeks with sister DreamWorks series Monsters vs. Aliens in the Saturday noon (ET/PT) timeslot.

Monsters vs. Aliens has been airing in premieres in the Saturday noon spot since the fall. The series only has four episodes in the season remaining to premiere. A second season has yet to be announced.

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness on the other hand has had a rocky premiere schedule on the network since it premiered in fall 2011. 60 of the series 80 ordered episodes have aired thus far, leaving 20 still to air. The show has not had a regular premiere slot during its run, with most episodes being stripped out in a week of premieres many times.

To reiterate, Kung Fu Panda will air a new episode this week, then a new Monsters vs. Aliens the following week. The two series seem to be sharing the spot moving forward.

As we check the Penguins tally, 2,315 fans sign in as Team Monster, Team Skipper’s quintuple counterpart, have the advantage of having the less episodes left in Season 1. We’ll keep a close watch to see if they can work seconds in Season 2.

With TCA coverage underway, this year’s Golden Globes air tonight. We’ll have the results on this week’s edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. See you after the Globes TV and movie fans!

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