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Isabelle Allen appears as young Cosette on the official poster for the 2012 film Les Miserables. / The students appear on the barricade in a scene from the 2012 movie Les Miserables. - Provided courtesy of Working Title Films / Cameron Mackintosh Ltd.

'Les Miserables' No. 1 at Christmas Day box office, 'Django Unchained' second

12/26/2012 by Corinne Heller

The time is now and the day is here -- "Les Miserables" hit No. 1 at the North American box office on Christmas Day.

The anticipated musical film adaptation of one of the most popular Broadway shows in the world has raked in at least $18.2 million, The Hollywood Reporter said.

The outlet reported that the movie broke a record -- December 25 marked the highest opening day for a musical and the top weekday Christmas opening of all time. "Les Miserables" has already earned at least $4.2 million abroad.

The film stars Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, is an impoverished French man who is released from prison on parole after serving time for stealing a loaf of bread for his starving sister and her child and for failed attempts at escaping jail. (Check out 9 facts about Hugh Jackman and his "Les Miserables" experience) A police inspector named Javert, played by Russell Crowe, is obsessed with putting him back behind bars.

Valjean eventually becomes the mayor of a town, an aristocrat and the adoptive father of a young girl, by request of her ill mother, playing by Anne Hathaway. He also helps a group of student activists, including one who is in love with his new daughter, who aim to face off against French soldiers during the revolution of 1832.

The movie also stars Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks and Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the scheming and colorful Thénardiers, who provide much-needed comic relief during the film, which runs more than two hours and 37 minutes -- which is shorter than the Broadway musical.

Among the famous songs in the film -- "Do You Hear The People Sing?" and "One Day More" -- high-energy ensemble numbers that have been sung at flash mobs, "I Dreamed a Dream," the song of woe that made Susan Boyle a star after she sang it on "Britain's Got Talent," and "On My Own," a ballad of unrequited love sung by Katie Holmes on "Dawson's Creek" in 1998.

In second place at the box office is "Django Unchained," Quentin Tarantino's R-rated western-inspired film starring Jamie Foxx as an African American slave-turned-bounty hunter. The movie was also released on Christmas Day and earned $15 million, the Hollywood Reporter said.

In the film, Foxx's character, Django, aims to rescue his wife, played by Kerry Washington. The movie also stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz, who appeared in Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds." "Django Unchained" has stirred some controversy over its repeated inclusion of a racial slur and has also angered "Malcolm X" director Spike Lee, who says it is "disrespectful."

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," the first in a "Lords of the Rings" prequel trilogy helmed by Peter Jackson, is No. 3 at the North American box office and has taken in an anticipated $11.3 million, the Hollywood Reporter said. The movie topped the chart over the weekend and has raked in at least $168 million domestically and approximately $500 worldwide.

In at No. 4 is the family comedy film "Parental Guidance," which stars Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei, which raked in at least $6.4 million since its Christmas Day release, the outlet reported.

"Jack Reacher," an action film starring Tom Cruise, comes in at No. 5. It has earned $5.3 million since December 25 and at least $17.9 million since it was released four days prior. The movie has already made at least $2.5 million abroad.

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