‘Hobbit’ Sits Atop Box Office for Third Straight Weekend

Manu Bennett, Sylvester McCoy, James Nesbitt, Stephen Fry, Andy Serkis, John Bell, Adam Brown, Jed Brophy, Ryan Gage, Philippa Boyens, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, Peter Jackson, Evangeline Lilly, Martin Freeman, Sir Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch and Aidan Turner attend 'The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies' World Premiere at Odeon Leicester Square on December 1, 2014 in London, England. (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images Europe)
Manu Bennett, Sylvester McCoy, James Nesbitt, Stephen Fry, Andy Serkis, John Bell, Adam Brown, Jed Brophy, Ryan Gage, Philippa Boyens, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, Peter Jackson, Evangeline Lilly, Martin Freeman, Sir Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch and Aidan Turner attend ‘The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies’ World Premiere at Odeon Leicester Square on December 1, 2014 in London, England. (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images Europe)

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
Patrick Ryan

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