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'Frozen' melts but still a solid second to 'Desolation of the Smaug'

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It was expected to win and it did. "The Hobbit: Desolation of the Smaug" won easily as it took down "Frozen" from the top of the box office.

But the real story for this one is that it fell short of the first installment of the prequel trilogy. So it is a sequel to a prequel. Who's on first? At $73.7 million, will some call it a disappointment or failure? It surely didn't catch fire like the latest "Hunger Games," but the fans are there.

The problem, many others simply do not care about these films. The millions it makes comes from a hearty base and, most likely, repeat views. Even when the early numbers of the Thursday shows came in, they were not as high as the other one.

Not everything can be, but it does seem like the buzz and expectations for this one is just not as high. Oh, the other one is "The Hobbit: Unexpectedly Journey." That film took in $12 million from those early Midnight showings, so the $8.8 million that "Desolation of the Smaug" took in was "way off."

But, not to be left out of the conversation is the length of the movie. It simply cannot make as much as a much right away than a shorter movie for one main reason. It cannot be shown as many times in a day. So, it may slog along (or "Smaug" along) and keep going. As for it beating "Frozen," come on. That movie has been out for three weeks now. A victory over that was a given. So, it did not break the ice of "Frozen" or smash it because there was no way "Frozen" would stay on top. Actually, "Frozen" stayed solid in second.

Weekend
1. "The Hobbit" Desolation of the Smaug" - $73.7 million
2. "Frozen" - $22.1 million
3. "A Madea Christmas" - $16 million

Meanwhile, The popular Tyler Perry and his, "A Madea Christmas," hit the right holiday spot for many, but settled in for third place. For a Perry film, it was not like his previous, either. Weather woes did affect plans for many throughout the country, and, yes, that factors into the overall box office numbers.

Looking deeper than just the list here, it is time take a look at "Saving Mr. Banks" and "American Hustle." Though not in wide release, tracing the per screen average can give a glimpse into its potential as it expands. "American Hustle" and Oscar hopeful did real well. It took in $690,000 in just six theaters and earned an impressive $115,000 per screen. The buzz is on for that one. In 16 theaters, "Saving Mr. Banks" garnered $421,000 for just over $28,000 per screen.

As award season rolls on, these two are perched nicely in their roll out schedules.

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