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Hobbit 2 climbs to top of box office elite

Ian McKellen in a scene from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Catching Fire outshines worldwide success of prequel Hunger Games

Undaunted hobbits trumped princess power at the box office. Per studio estimates yesterday, Warner Bros. Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was No. 1 at the weekend box office with US$73.7 million, besting last weekend’s No. 1 film, Disney’s animated fable Frozen. Melting down to the No. 2 position, Frozen earned US$22.2 in its third weekend, bringing its impressive overall domestic ticket total to nearly US$164.4 million.

Despite its first place position, The Desolation of Smaug fell short of topping its prequel’s debut. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which opened this same weekend last year, gained US$84.6 million. It earned US$131.2 million in international sales.

Lionsgate’s holiday-themed Tyler Perry’s a Madea Christmas came in third place with US$16.2 million. “All of the Tyler Perry movies have done in that US$20 million plus range, but the weather was a factor in some of the performances of these films,” said Dergarabedian.

Another Lionsgate film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, earned US$13.2 million for the fourth place slot. To date, Catching Fire has grossed US$739.9 million, surpassing the worldwide box office total for The Hunger Games, which brought in US$691 million.

Disney’s super hero sequel, Thor: The Dark World, continues to thrive as it remained in the top five with US$2.7 million, bringing its domestic total to US$198.1 million.

In its second weekend, Relativity Media’s redemption drama Out of the Furnace, starring Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, dropped to the sixth position with US$2.3 million after opening in the third place slot.

Disney’s comedy Delivery Man, with Vince Vaughn as the lead, dropped in at No. 7 in its fourth weekend at the box office with US$1.9 million, bringing its domestic total to US$28 million.

The Weinstein Co.’s Philomena, starring Judi Dench, who received a best-actress Golden Globe Awards nomination for her performance as a nun in search of her son, landed in the No. 8 spot at the weekend box office with US$1.8 million.

In its sixth weekend at the box office, Fox’s Nazi Germany-set The Book Thief, starring Emily Watson, Geoffrey Rush and Sophie Nelisse, held the ninth position with US$1.7 million. Coming in at No. 10 was the Jason Statham and James Franco-starring Open Road crime thriller Homefront, which gained US$1.6 million in its third weekend. Its total domestic gross is now US$18.4 million. With only a few weeks left in the year for moviegoers to populate the multiplex, the wide selection of impressive films fares well for eclipsing 2012’s box office record of US$10.8 billion.

AP

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