Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” blew away industry estimates during its opening over the Christmas weekend, earning an astounding $47.3 million.
The World War II epic is Jolie’s second directorial effort starring Jack O’Connell as Louis Zamperini, an American Olympic athlete who went on to become a soldier and survived 47 days adrift at sea and two years at a POW camp.
“Unbroken” beat out other new releases at the box office this weekend including “The Gambler” and “Into the Woods.” However, the film did not topple the newly released “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which earned $41.4 million over the holiday weekend.
“At this time of year stories about faith and how strong the human spirit is do huge numbers,” Jeff Bock, an analyst for Exhibitor Relations, said of “Unbroken,” according to Variety.
“Unbroken” is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s book of the same name, and the film reveals Zamperini’s grit and determination through epic challenges. The movie grossed more than any other film in U.S. theaters on Christmas Day, earning $15.6 million. The number ranks “Unbroken” the third highest-grossing film ever on Christmas Day, behind only “Sherlock Holmes” and “Les Miserables.”
“It’s an inspirational film that played to all the quadrants,” Universal Studio’s distribution chief Nikki Rocco explained to Variety. “The studio did an incredible marketing job telling the story of this hero.”
Also in theaters during the four-day Christmas weekend was “The Imitation Game,” the story of British math genius Alan Turing who, like Zamperini, was also an Olympic runner. The film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, also outperformed at the box office, earning $3.1 million in its third week in theaters.
Both “Unbroken” and “The Imitation Game” are creating Oscars buzz, and the ladder has already grabbed five Golden Globes nominations. As for reviews, “Unbroken” has a 51 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes while “The Imitation Game” is very well-liked at 89 percent. Watch the trailer for both films below.
Watch the Trailer:
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