“The Hobbit” Wins Weekend Box Office, “American Hustle” Opens

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Though its total trails that of its 2012 predecessor, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” had no trouble claiming number one at the weekend box office.

The film claimed first place with a dominant $73.7 million. Last year’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” opened on the same weekend with a stronger $84.6 million.

“Frozen,” this weekend’s number two performer, earned $22.2 million.

“Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas” claimed third with a lackluster $16 million, besting the $13.2 million and $2.7 million for fellow top five finishers “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Thor: The Dark World,” respectively.

On the platform front, “American Hustle” grabbed $690,000 from its six screens for a fifteenth place finish. “Saving Mr. Banks” earned $421,000 from fifteen screens.