Box Office: ‘Unbroken’ Nabs $47M, ‘Into The Woods’ Conjures $46M Over Christmas Weekend

This will be a weekend box office post purely dealing with the new movies that dropped on Christmas Day, since we had seven of them. The full weekend box office news for the older releases can be found HERE.

For a handy reminder, we had somewhat four wide releases, Walt Disney’s DIS +0.71% Into the Woods (2,478 theaters), Angelina Jolie’s directorial effort Unbroken (3,131 theaters), Mark Wahlberg’s The Gambler (2,478 theaters), and Tim Burton’s Amy Adams/Christoph Waltz art-fraud dramedy Big Eyes (1,307 theaters). Also in semi-wide release is and the 331-theater debut of The Interview, which also debuted on nationwide Video on Demand on Wednesday due to well, I think you know. Debuting in limited release was Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper in four theaters and the Martin Luther King biopic Selma in nineteen venues. May I remind you again that basically nothing opened at all in the first weekend of December? You know what should have maybe opened on the first weekend of December?  The Interview!!!

Craving Taylor Swift Christmas Music? Well, It Exists!

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Are you obsessed with both Taylor Swift and Christmas music? Trust me, you’re not the only one. And just because Christmas was yesterday doesn’t mean you have to turn off the seasonal tunes yet. We have at least until New Years Eve! In the meantime, were you aware that there’s a trove of Swiftie holiday songs you can listen to right now?? Sometimes with the perpetual onslaught of new music, we forget that there’s plenty of hidden gems lurking in the past.

Back in 2007 Tay Tay put together a special six-song Christmas album that was released exclusively through Target. This was back before she was a record-breaking superstar, and only had her self-titled debut Taylor Swift under her belt. Dubbed The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, the EP includes several classic Christmas carols, as well as a few very Taylor twists. Let’s dive in, shall we? Here’s Taylor’s six Christmas songs:

Meghan Trainor, Little Big Town make Top 10 list

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The Associated Press released its list of top songs of 2014 and three artists with Nashville ties made the Top 10. The AP dubbed Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass” “the year’s most viral and colorful song” and slotted it at No. 4. Little Big Town’s “Day Drinking” came in at No. 8 because “why not?” And Taylor Swift’s pop anthem “Blank Space” rounded out the Top 10.

Non-Nashville songs on the list are: “Pretty Hurts” by Beyonce; “Chandelier” by Sia; “I’m Not the Only One” by Sam Smith; “Bailando,” by Enrique Iglesias featuring Sean Paul, Gente de Zona and Descemer Bueno; “Don’t Tell ‘Em,” by Jeremih featuring YG; “Take Me to Church,” by Hozier; and “Turn Down for What,” by DJ Snake and Lil Jon.

Box office report: ‘The Hobbit’ wins the weekend’s battle

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Although there were three huge wide releases in theaters this weekend, the third and final Hobbit beat them all by a landslide. The Peter Jackson film brought in $56.2 million over the weekend (and $90.6 million since its Wednesday opening), while Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie — all films showing in more than 3,000 locations — made almost $40 million less.

This is a win at the weekend box office, but compared to the rest of the Hobbit films, The Battle of the Five Armies didn’t fare as well: The first film in the trilogy made $84.6 million its opening weekend while the second took in $73.6 million.

The 23 percent drop in opening weekend grosses between the second and third film could be due to a number of things, including movie fatigue. The book — yes, singular book — the films are based on is just over 300 pages, but each movie is at least two hours long. You can only stretch one story so much, and The Hobbit has been stretched… and stretched… and stretched.

Rock star Sting buoys ‘The Last Ship’ with Broadway role

Grammy-winning rock star Sting has boosted ticket sales of his Broadway musical “The Last Ship” and won praise for his performance as a foreman in the show based on his childhood in a shipbuilding town in northeast England.

“The Last Ship,” the first Broadway musical written by Sting, opened on Oct. 26 to mixed reviews, winning praise for his rousing score but losing points for its confused, tangled story.

Ticket sales flagged, with the show losing a reported $75,000 a week since previews began, and the former front man of rock group the Police announced he would join the cast for a limited time.

Jennifer Lawrence can sing!!

Yes, darlings, you read that headline correctly–Jennifer Lawrence is not only pretty and talented and funny but she can sing too.

I mean, can she see the future and walk through walls also? Ugh.

If you saw the latest Hunger Games flick, Mockingjay Part 1, you’ll recall the scene when Katniss sings a little ditty called “The Hanging Tree” which quickly becomes the rallying tune of the rebel forces. Well someone had the bright idea to make that song an actual song and now it’s climbing the charts! It’s even cracked the top 40!

But don’t expect a full album of Katniss karaoke–I hear Jen was nearly in tears when asked to sing in the movie and she herself even admitted that her voice isn’t something she’d be keen to show off…

“I can’t stand singing,” she admitted. “The idea of singing in front of people is my biggest fear in the entire world.”

Well it looks like she can consider that phobia conquered and then some. Listen to her impressive vocals here:

10 hidden gems from 2015’s Grammy nominations

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Superstars dominated most of the headlines Friday when the Grammys revealed their 2015 nominations, but while Sam Smith, Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams and Iggy Azalea all pulled in multiple nods for hit recordings, the Grammys’ 83 categories also allow acts who haven’t topped the radio charts or sold millions of downloads to be recognized for the quality of their work. We look at some exceptional albums music lovers might discover by searching deep in the nominees’ list.

‘Mockingjay’ maintains iron grip on box office

Power-mad President Snow would be impressed with Mockingjay‘s unbending rule.

For the third week in a row, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 has led the box office, earning $21.6 million, according to studio estimates from Rentrak.

The third film in the Hunger Games franchise was aided by the notoriously slow post-Thanksgiving release weekend. There were no serious challengers.

The Hunger Games is too mighty for any movie entering the arena,” says Rentrak analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “Mockingjay steamrolls along and everyone gets out of the way.”

The movie passed Transformers: Age of Extinction ($245 million) among top domestic box office performers of the year with $257.7 million. It barely trails Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($259.8 million) and The Lego Movie ($257.8 million).

“But Mockingjay will leapfrog both of them soon to get to number two,” says Dergarabedian.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy remains the top domestic grossing movie of the year at $332.5 million.

Jennifer Lawrence Becomes a Pop Star With Success of “Hanging Tree,” Hunger Games Soundtrack Song

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Jennifer Lawrence can add pop star to her growing list of talents and accolades.

The Oscar-winning actress, 24, found herself amongst the likes of One Direction, Taylor Swift, and Meghan Trainor this week, climbing music charts worldwide with “The Hanging Tree,” a track off the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.

Lawrence currently holds the No. 12 spot on ARIA Australian Top 50 Singles Chart and the No. 14 spot on the Official U.K. Singles Chart. The chart performance puts the star behind 1D, Swift, and Trainor, but above heavyweights such as Nicki Minaj, Lorde, and Sam Smith.

Led by composer James Newton Howard, “The Hanging Tree” is also performing well stateside. Billboard reports that the track could move 150,000 copies, making it a contender for the top 40 of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.