The Hobbit franchise is bowing out with a bang.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies vanquished the competition for a third straight weekend with $21.9 million, according to studio estimates from Rentrak. Since opening Dec. 17, the final installment in the blockbuster fantasy trilogy has earned $220.8 million.
Despite earning mixed reviews (61% critics’ approval on RottenTomatoes.com, and a more positive 78% from audiences), Battle is yet another high-grossing entry in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit franchise, following the $303 million tally of 2012’s An Unexpected Journey, and $258.4 million for 2013’s The Desolation of Smaug, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
“It’s a good way to start 2015,” says Rentrak analyst Paul Dergarabedian, who notes the 8.4% uptick in overall box office from the same weekend last year, when Frozen landed at No. 1 with $19.6 million. With a slew of other successful entries this holiday season, “we had a solid Christmas, and we needed it, and that’s driving momentum into the new year.”
The weekend’s only new opener in wide release, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, came in fourth with a better-than-expected $15.1 million, despite anemic reviews (only 24% of critics approved). The sequel to 2012’s The Woman in Black started not far behind its predecessor, which opened to $20.9 million on its way to $54.3 million total and had the added benefit of star Daniel Radcliffe.
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SOURCE: USA Today