"Desolation of Smaug" beats "Anchorman 2" to top box office

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Hobbit stands in Ron Burgundy's way to the top spot of North American Box Office. In a sequel vs. sequel race to No. 1 during the pre-Christmas weekend, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" holds off "Anchorman: The Legend Continues" with an estimated $31.5 million, AceShowbiz said.

"The Hobbit 2" sits at the top spot for a second week in a row. The Warner Bros. release falls 57 percent from last weekend's debut. Overseas, the Peter Jackson-directed action fantasy film gains additional $96 million, pushing its domestic gross to $127.5 million and worldwide total to $403.8 million.

At the runner-up place, "Anchorman 2" collects approximately $26.8M for the weekend alone and grosses $40M for its five-day debut since opening Tuesday night. Overseas, it pockets $13.4M. The first film, released 2004, made $28.4M and $5.3M for respective weekend debuts nationally and internationally.

"'Anchorman 2' will have a much larger footprint internationally than the last 'Anchorman' did," says Don Harris, head of domestic distribution for Paramount. "Will Ferrell has done a really good job of turning this character into something that travels around the world."

"American Hustle" and "Saving Mr. Banks" climb to the fourth and fifth places respectively. David O. Russell's take on FBI ABSCAM operation garners an estimated $19.1 million in its major debut weekend, and Disney's movie about the making of classic "Mary Poppins" musical rakes in approximately $9.3 million.

The Mouse House's animation "Frozen (2013)" falls one spot to No. 3 with additional $19.2 million. Fox's 3D family-oriented pic "Walking With Dinosaurs" made on $85M budget tanks at No. 8 with only around $7.3M in its debut weekend. It's followed by Bollywood action "Dhoom 3" with an estimated $3.3M in its first weekend Stateside.

In limited release, Spike Jonze's strongly-lauded sci-fi romance "Her" rakes in an estimated $361,000 over five days in three cities. Led by Joaquin Phoenix and voiced by Scarlett Johansson", it makes a good $60,000 per screen.

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