“The Hobbit” Leads Friday Box Office, “Madea Christmas” Underwhelms

By  | 

Its take looks underwhelming in the wake of “Catching Fire’”s recent domination, but “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” will still cruise to an easy box office victory.

The film earned an estimated $31.1 million in its debut Friday, which gave it a significant lead over all other releases. It did, however, mark a decline from the $37.1 million earned on day one by last year’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

“Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas,” this weekend’s next best performer, earned a modest $5.7 million.

“Frozen” followed with $5.1 million, while “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Thor: The Dark World” rounded out the top five on the strength of $4.1 million and $0.8 million.