'Hobbit' keeps 'Anchorman' from top of N. America box office



LOS ANGELES- The latest Tolkien blockbuster, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," held on atop North America's weekend box office, keeping TV "Anchorman" Ron Burgundy from making number one news, figures showed Monday.
The second part of "The Hobbit" film trilogy, starring Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman, earned $31.5 million on its second weekend, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.



The series, directed by Peter Jackson, follows his other mega-hit trilogy adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings."
In second place, debuting with $26.8 million in ticket sales, was "Anchorman 2," the heavily-marketed sequel to the popular Will Ferrell comedy about screwball newsman Burgundy.
While respectable, the figure is relatively disappointing for the sequel. "'Anchorman 2' box office: What happened?" headlined the Los Angeles Times, noting it earned less than the 2004 original's opening weekend.
Possible reasons included over-marketing -- Burgundy has been so ubiquitous in recent weeks that people already "feel like they had gotten their fill of the character," it said -- as well as stronger competition, and the possibility that "older fans had moved on."
Slipping to third place was Disney animated musical "Frozen," with a $19.6 million take.
The 53rd movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, which began with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in 1937, "Frozen" is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairytale "The Snow Queen."
Comedy "American Hustle" -- starring Christian Bale and Amy Adams as a hustler couple, and Bradley Cooper as the FBI agent they team up with to bring down other con artists -- rose to fourth place on the film's first week in national release.
The movie, which has been nominated for seven Golden Globes, raked in $19.1 million.
In fifth place with $9.3 million was "Saving Mr. Banks," about Walt Disney's quest to make a film adaptation of "Mary Poppins." Its stars -- Tom Hanks as Disney and Emma Thompson as Poppins' anti-Hollywood author -- have both been nominated for Golden Globes.
Falling to sixth spot, the latest installment of the blockbuster "Hunger Games" franchise earned $8.8 million, taking its overall earnings since its record opening five weeks ago to $371 million in North America alone.
In seventh, with $8.4 million, was "A Madea Christmas," directed by and starring Tyler Perry in his recurring role as Madea, chronicling yet another adventure in the life of the tough, old woman.
"Walking with Dinosaurs," an animated tale that brings viewers into the Paleozoic era, opened in eighth place, with $7.1 million, while another new release, Bollywood blockbuster "Dhoom 3", took ninth with $3.4 million, despite being shown in only 236 theaters.
Rounding out the top 10 was superhero flick "Thor: The Dark World," the latest movie based on Marvel's iconic comic book character, which took in $1.3 million.
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Tuesday, December 24th 2013
AFP
           


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