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Weekend Box Office Report: December 20-22, 2013

12.22.2013

The Hobbit steals Anchorman's headline!

Despite his diminutive stature, Bilbo Baggins was a bigger deal than even the legendary Ron Burgundy this weekend as THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG held onto the top at the box office with $31.4 million!

The second part of Peter Jackson's new Tolkien trilogy dropped about 57% from its opening last week -- just slightly more than THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY's 55% second-weekend drop -- and its domestic 10-day total is at $127.5 million.

Despite some creative yet relentless promotion, ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES settled for second place with a three-day weekend of $26.7 million (Sweet Lincoln's mullet! Kicked out of the spotlight by a halfling!), and a $40 million total since its Wednesday opening.

While the return of Will Ferrell's news buffoon seemed to be highly anticipated, the sequel landed well short of the original ANCHORMAN's surprising $43.1 million opening nearly a decade ago (ANCHORMAN 2 cost nearly twice as much as the first). Paying crowds seemed only moderately amused by the comedy crew's latest round of macho antics in gaudy clothes, judging by an average 'B' CinemaScore (for comparison, Vince Vaughn's DELIVERY MAN scored a 'B+').

Disney's CG-animated audience fave FROZEN came in third place with an additional $19.1 million, but it will be fighting for that slot with AMERICAN HUSTLE, which expanded nationwide in full force! The all-star con game also took in $19.1 million, making it the biggest wide weekend for filmmaker David O. Russell (SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK was a slow roll to its inevitable $132 million domestic total).

Critics raved about Russell's reunion with actors Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper -- the movie is holding at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. Moviegoers were reasonably entertained by the 70s swindle, granting AMERICAN HUSTLE a 'B+' CinemaScore.

The Tom Hanks-starring SAVING MR. BANKS also expanded from limited release, coming in fifth with $9.3 million. The story of Walt Disney's struggle to make MARY POPPINS struck a nerve with audiences, who gave the drama an 'A' CinemaScore (it's also at 81% on Rotten Tomatoes).

In the lower half of the chart, THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE tussled with Tyler Perry's holiday drag TYLER PERRY'S A MADEA CHRISTMAS in its second weekend. A new computer-animated trek through prehistoric times didn't appeal to the family crowds, as WALKING WITH DINOSAURS 3D was virtually extinct in eighth place with a $7.3 million opening (and a cost over $80 million).

The Hindi action flick DHOOM 3 blasted into ninth place with $3.5 million in just 236 theaters (the highest per-screen average in the Top 10), and THOR: THE DARK WORLD finally passed the $200 million mark domestically.

Outside the chart, the acclaimed Judi Dench performance PHILOMENA slipped away, along with THE BOOK THIEF, OUT OF THE FURNACE, HOMEFRONT and DELIVERY MAN. The Coens' INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS made just over $1 million on 148 screens, and Spike Jonze's curious OS romance HER opened in limited release to a solid $43k per-screen.

Next week stuffs the multiplex for the Wednesday holiday, with the expensive new Keanu Reeves period action fable 47 RONIN, the Sly Stallone/Robert DeNiro boxing showdown GRUDGE MATCH, Ben Stiller's comedy remake THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, Martin Scoresese and Leonardo DiCaprio's 90s excess THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and the Justin Bieber documentary BELIEVE, plus the expanding of MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM and limited releases of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, LONE SURVIVOR and THE INVISIBLE WOMAN.

Have a Merry Christmas!

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# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $31.4 M $127.5 M
2. Anchorman: The Legend Continues $26.7 M $40 M
3. Frozen $19.1 M $191.5 M
4. American Hustle $19.1 M $20.2 M
5. Saving Mr. Banks $9.3 M $9.9 M
6. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $8.7 M $371.7 M
7. Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas $8.5 M $28.3 M
8. Walking with Dinosaurs $7.3 M
NEW
9. Dhoom 3 $3.3 M
NEW
10. Thor: The Dark World $1.3 M $200.7 M

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Source: Box Office Mojo

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