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'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' debuts at No. 1 at U.S. box office

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As expected, New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (the second "Hobbit" movie in the series) debuted at No. 1 at the U.S. and Canadian box office for the weekend ending Dec. 15, 2013. According to a Box Office Mojo report published on Dec. 15, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (which was released in IMAX and 3-D) had $73.7 million in ticket sales, which was below the $84.6 million opening-weekend total for 2012's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" opened on Dec. 13, 2013, but numerous theaters had early screenings on Dec. 12, 2013. The movie has been getting mixed-to-positive reviews from critics.

Meanwhile, Lionsgate's "Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas" (which also opened in wide release on Dec. 13, 2013) got mostly negative reviews from critics (just like most Tyler Perry movies) and did mediocre business at the box office. "A Madea Christmas" debuted in third place, with $16 million in ticket sales for its opening weekend, which Box Office Mojo says is the third-lowest opening weekend total for a movie directed by Perry.

According to Box Office Mojo, here are the Top 5 movies in the U.S. and Canada for the weekend ending Dec. 15, 2013:

1. "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" — $73.7 million

2. "Frozen" — $22.5 million

3. "A Madea Christmas" — $16 million

4. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" — $13.6 million

5. "Thor: The Dark World" — $2.8 million

And here are the opening-weekend box-office numbers for the movies that opened in limited release on Dec. 13, 2013:

  • "American Hustle" — $740,455 from six theaters (expanding to more theaters on Dec. 20, 2013)
  • "Saving Mr. Banks" — $413,373 from 15 theaters (expanding to more theaters on Dec. 20, 2013)
  • "Nuclear Nation" — $2,268 from one theater
  • "Here Comes the Devil" — $783 from two theaters (also released on VOD on Dec. 13, 2013)

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