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'The Hobbit' reigns supreme at box office on opening weekend

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Though the figures won't be official until Monday, it's more than obvious that the latest installment of the Hobbit trilogy got off to an impressive start this weekend and easily blew past the competition by Sunday.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened with $8.8 million from midnight showings on Thursday alone and has so far racked up $73.7 million in its domestic debut. That number beats out the Disney musical Frozen, which bumped off The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for the #1 spot last weekend, by $51.5 million and is good for the fourth-best December debut ever.

Last year's trilogy opener The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey still had the best, having earned $84.6 million on opening weekend.

Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, meanwhile, opened as well and slips into the #3 spot with $16 million. Rounding out the top five are Catching Fire, adding $13.2 million for a $357 million total gross, and Thor: The Dark World, which has held on since its debut in early November to bring in $2.7 million more.

On the international side, the film also debuted in 17 additional countries this weekend and has grossed a combined $205 million worldwide so far.

Eight more international debuts have yet to add their money into the mix: Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Colombia, Australia, Iceland, and Poland will start showing The Hobbit between Dec. 19-27, while Japan's premiere isn't until Feb. 28.

The Peter Jackson-directed flick stars Martin Freeman as the title hobbit and features the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug.

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