Hobbit fends off rivals at holiday box office
The second of Sir Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy remains supreme at the holiday box office, with North American audiences pushing it to the number one slot over Christmas.
This is despite its release two weeks earlier and a rush of new films on Christmas Day.
Since its release, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has taken its two-week total to $US150 million in the US. Its worldwide takings are $US426.2 billion, according to Box Office Mojo.
In New Zealand, figures to December 19 show the Tolkien-based tale has grossed $3.1 million in its first week.
Meanwhile, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has jumped to $6 million, putting it third for the year behind Ironman 3 ($6.6 million) and Despicable Me 2 ($6.5 million).
Only one other new release, Martin Scorcese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, took more than $US9 million over Christmas in the US and Canada.
This was a surprise, given Wolf is strictly for adults with its three-hour length full of Wall Street excesses, including drug-taking and sex orgies.
The third-ranked film, Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, is a much poorer follow-up to the 2005 cult film.
Both Anchorman 2 and The Wolf of Wall Street are also on release in New Zealand, though box office figures are not yet available.
Other big holiday releases are The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, also released, and the R-rated American Hustle, due for New Zealand release on January 23.
Also showing in the US are the Disney-made Saving Mr Banks, about Walt Disney and Mary Poppins creator PJ Travers (NZ release on Feb 6), and the biographical Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (NZ: Jan 30).
A notable flop is Justin Bieber’s concert film Believe, which made only $US1.25 million from about 1000 locations in the US and Canada (NZ: Jan 16).