'Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug' beats 'Anchorman 2' at box office, 'American Hustle' gets off to good start

By Daniel S Levine,

Ron Burgundy was no match for Bilbo Baggins at the box office this weekend, as fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit continued to head to theaters to see The Desolation of Smaug. Will Ferrell’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues still got off to a decent start, while David O. Russell’s Oscar contender American Hustle also brought in audiences to see Christian Bale’s epic combover.

Smaug started its box office run last week with $73.7 million and dropped 60 percent to $31.5 million in its second weekend. According to Entertainment Weekly, it is now up to $127.5 million. However, that is lower than last year’s An Unexpected Journey, which reached $150 million domestically after its first two weekends.

The movie in second place was Anchorman 2, which grossed $26.8 million over the three-day weekend. Surprisingly, that’s actually lower than the first Anchorman’s $28.4 million debut, notes Box Office Mojo. Anchorman 2 has been in theaters since Wednesday, so that brings its overall total to $40 million.

That may sound good and Paramount could twist it to say that it met the studio’s expectations, but considering the marketing Paramount poured into it, that could have been higher. Everyone knew that the movie was coming out, but clearly, not everyone was all that interested.

Meanwhile, Disney’s Frozen keeps chugging along. The animated hit added another $19.2 million, bringing its domestic total to $191.6 million. Add in a few new international markets and the fairy tale is up to $344.2 million worldwide.

American Hustle grossed $19.1 million. It should be noted that it can’t really be compared to Russell’s last film, 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook, which earned a slow rollout from The Weinstein Company. Hustle comes from Sony, which decided to only give it a week in limited release before going wide. The film has earned praise for its performances from stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks earned $9.3 million, while Fox’s Walking With Dinosaurs bombed with just $7.3 million.

image: Paramount


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