Jolie's 'Unbroken' sprints to front of Christmas Day box office

LOS ANGELES - Director Angelina Jolie's World War II drama "Unbroken" finished first at the Christmas Day box office in its debut and edged out another new film for the holiday season, modern fairy tale musical "Into The Woods,"tracking firm Rentrak said on Friday. "Unbroken," the real-life story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini's two years as a prisoner of war in Japan, brought in US$15.6 million (S$20.6 million), helping Comcast Corp.'s Universal film and Jolie's second directorial effort stand out in the crowded US and Canada holiday film offering.

It came in just ahead of the US$15.1 million made by "Into The Woods," Walt Disney Co.'s film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical. Actresses Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep and the film itself have received Golden Globe nominations.

The last of Peter Jackson's three "Hobbit" films, "Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," from Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros., tacked on another US$13.1 million on Christmas Day after winning the box office in its debut last weekend.

Far down on the list, in 14th place, was "The Interview,"the Seth Rogen-James Franco farce about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that sparked the devastating cyberattack on Sony Pictures. The raunchy comedy earned US$1.04 million playing in 331 mostly independent theatres after the big movie chains bowed out due to threats from hackers.