Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained almost caught up with Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on New Year's Day, grossing $9.2 million versus $9.5 million for Hobbit.
Hobbit, Django and Tom Hooper's Les Miserables are the big winners of the 2012 year-end holidays, and were among nine nationwide releases opening during the final two weeks of the year.
From New Line and MGM, Hobbit has stayed at No. 1 since rolling out Dec. 14, save for Christmas Day, when Les Mis debuted to No. 1. Hobbit, distributed and marketed by New Line parent company Warner Bros., has grossed an estimated $238.1 million to date domestically and north of $470 million overseas.
The Weinstein Co.'s Django -- starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio -- has grossed $77.8 million since opening Christmas Day. Sony is TWC's partner on the R-rated pic and will release the film internationally. Django cost approximately $87 million to produce.
Les Mis, from Universal and likewise opening on Christmas Day, grossed $7.6 million on Tuesday for a North American total of $80.6 million. The film adaptation of the hit stage musical, with a production price tag of $60 million, has already earned north of $50 million overseas. Les Mis star-studded cast is led by Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried.
Some box office observers believe Django will edge past Hobbit by the end of the week or over the weekend.
Family friendly comedy Parental Guidance has been holding steady at No. 4 since its Christmas Day debut. Costing a modest $25 million to make, the 20th Century Fox film stars Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei.
Parental Guidance, grossing $4.7 million on New Year's Day for a domestic total of $38.7 million, was followed by Tom Cruise's gritty action pic Jack Reacher with a gross of $4.3 million. Reacher's domestic total is $51.8 million, while it has earned north of $22 million overseas.
Judd Apatow's R-rated comedy This Is 40 held at No. 6, earning an estimated $3.7 million for a cume of $42.6 million. The sort-of sequel to Knocked Up, from Universal, cost $35 million to make.
Barbra Streisand-Seth Rogen starrer The Guilt Trip -- the third Christmas movie -- has failed to find a foothold at the box office since rolling out Dec. 19. The Paramount pic's domestic cume through Tuesday was $24.8 million.
Other holiday losers include the 3D rerelease of Monsters, Inc., wich has grossed $21.9 million since its Dec. 19 debut and Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, which has earned $8.9 million.
Overall, Hollywood is pleased with the level of moviegoing over the holidays, which capped a record-breaking year at the North American box office. Revenues came in at $10.8 million, up 5.8 percent over last year's $10.2 billion. Attendance, reaching 1.38 billion, was up 6 percent over last year's 16-year low.
Both Sony and Universal enjoyed their best years ever at the domestic and international box office. Sony led domestically in terms of marketshare, with its films earning north of $1.7 billion.