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December 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

With an estimated $73.6-million opening, Warner Bros. and MGM executives had nothing to feel desolate about, but The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug earned 13 percent less than The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey did over the comparable weekend a year ago. That film set a record for December, and some forecasters had predicted that the sequel would do the same. Two other films also had bigger December openings than Smaug, I am Legend, which opened with $77.2 million in 2007 and Avatar, which opened with $77 million in 2009. Studio officials blamed the snowstorm that hit the Northeast and freezing temperatures that enveloped the Midwest for disrupting many moviegoers’ plans. Meanwhile, Disney’s Frozen barely thawed at all in its third week in wide release, declining just 29.8 percent to finish in second place with $22.8 million and bring its domestic gross to $164.39 million. Most box office analysts had predicted that Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas would finish as the runner-up. Instead, it came in a distant third with just $16 million, the worst result ever for a Madea flick. Another Lionsgate release, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, placed fourth with $13.2 million, bringing its four-week domestic gross to $357 million. That put the sequel’s worldwide gross at $739 million, well past the $691 million total of the original The Hunger Games.. From there the box office took a precipitous plunge, with the sixth week of Thor: The Dark World rounding out the top five with $2.7 million.

The top ten films at the box office over the weekend according to estimates compiled by Rentrak:
1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, $73.7 million; 2. Frozen, $22.2 million; 3. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, $16 million; 4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, $13.2 million; 5. Thor: The Dark World, $2.7 million; 6. Out of the Furnace, $2.3 million; 7. Delivery Man, $1.9 million; 8. Philomena, $1.8 million; 9. The Book Thief, $1.7 million; 10. Homefront, $1.6 million.