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Weekend Box Office Report: December 13-15, 2013

12.15.2013

The Hobbit grabs the gold!

A gigantic dragon didn't scare moviegoers, who put THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG at the top of the box office this weekend with $73.6 million!

The second part of Bilbo Baggins' big adventure opened with less than THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, which started out with $84.6 million last year (compared to each entry in the original LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, which opened with more than the previous). The nasty winter storm that smacked a considerable part of the country probably didn't help... But is it also possible audiences are starting to experience Tolkien fatigue (or at least with director Peter Jackson's additions to the tale)?

Whatever the case, THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG managed to open higher than any of the three LOTR movies -- as well it should, given the premium price for 3D, IMAX and HFR -- and its global total is already over $200 million (AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY finally came to an end with just over one billion worldwide).

Disney's FROZEN was solid in second with another $22.1 million on its fourth weekend in theaters, and a $220.2 global total so far. The Mouse House's chilly fairy tale is proving to be a new favorite, even among the many people across the US who've probably already had their fill of snow and ice and frigid temperatures this year.

FROZEN stayed ahead of Tyler Perry's holiday offering TYLER PERRY'S A MADEA CHRISTMAS, opening in third with $16 million. That's a low mark for Perry's large feminine alter-ego, well below the usual $25+ million openings for MADEA movies (MADEA GOES TO JAIL started off with $41 million back in 2009). It had enough cheer for paying crowds to give it a festive 'A-' CinemaScore, but MADEA's latest may quickly disappear behind the pile of presents that are hitting theaters for Christmas.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE was firmly in fourth with $13.1 million, and while it may be a stretch to reach THE HUNGER GAMES' domestic total of $409.2 million, CATCHING FIRE's $729.9 worldwide total is already beyond the first movie's $691.2 million finish.

Things take a steep plunge after Katniss, with THOR: THE DARK WORLD in fifth place with $2.7 million as it still tries to crack $200 million domestically. OUT OF THE FURNACE was in sixth with $2.9 million, a dip of 55% from its opening last weekend. Vince Vaughn's DELIVERY MAN managed to stay just ahead of award-nominated PHILOMENA and THE BOOK THIEF, while Jason Statham's HOMEFRONT kicked just enough butt to remain in the Top 10.

Outside the chart, THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY exited with DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, while Alexander Payne's black-and-white road trip NEBRASKA is up to $3.3 million on 250 screens. David O. Russell's new 70s swindle AMERICAN HUSTLE sizzled in limited release with $115k per-screen average before it expands wide next week. Tom Hanks' SAVING MR. BANKS, about Disney's struggle to make MARY POPPINS, didn't make quite as strong an impression in its limited release debut with $28k per-screen (it also goes wide next weekend).

Next week brings back mustachioed news king Ron Burgundy and his crack team in ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES (on Wednesday), and audiences get a chance to wander prehistoric times in WALKING WITH DINOSAURS 3D. Spike Jonze's new bizarro romance HER opens in limited release, while AMERICAN HUSTLE, SAVING MR. BANKS and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS all expand.

Which is your favorite of the Tolkien movies? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $73.6 M
NEW
2. Frozen $22.1 M $164.3 M
3. Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas $16 M
NEW
4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $13.1 M $356.9 M
5. Thor: The Dark World $2.7 M $198.1 M
6. Out of the Furnace $2.3 M $9.4 M
7. Delivery Man $1.8 M $27.9 M
8. Philomena $1.7 M $11 M
9. The Book Thief $1.6 M $14.8 M
10. Homefront $1.6 M $18.4 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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