'Smaug' Thaws 'Frozen' at Box Office
By ROBERT PACE
December 15, 2013
As wintry weather swept the nation over the weekend, The Hobbit sequel The Desolation of Smaug heated up the box office with a strong opening that easily surpassed prior box-office king Frozen.
The fantasy adventure film raked in an estimated $73.7 million domestic in its opening, easily toppling last week's No. 1, animated family film Frozen (2nd), which piled up $22.2 million in its second weekend to increase its domestic total to $164.4 million.
Finishing in third was the holiday-themed Tyler Perry film Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, which generated $16 million in its opening, the smallest start for one of Perry's Madea films.
On a weekend when inclement weather kept many indoors and away from theaters, the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire (4th) continued its hot run at the box office.
With another $13.2 million this weekend, the adventure film pushed its gross domestic total to a whopping $357 million. Catching Fire—starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and Elizabeth Banks—has now stacked up $792.9 million worldwide over four weekends of release.
The box office dropped off sharply from the No. 4 spot, cumulatively falling short of Catching Fire's weekend earnings.
Fellow sequel Thor: The Dark World (5th: $2.7 million, $198.1 million) trailed behind in fifth for its sixth weekend in wide release.
The Christian Bale crime thriller Out of the Furnace (6th: $2.3 million, $9.5 million) continued its mediocre run with $2.3 million for its second weekend, and another mildly successful film, the Vince Vaughn comedy Delivery Man (7th: $1.9 million, $28 million) followed on its heels.
The dramas Philomena (8th: $1.8 million, $11 million) and The Book Thief (9th: $1.7 million, $14.9 million) stayed at the lower end of the box office despite generally positive critical reviews.
Homefront (10th: $1.6 million, $18.4 million) dropped four spots due to falling 52.3 percent between its second and third weekends, partially a byproduct of dropping its screenings in nearly 500 theaters (around one-fifth of its total).