After The Hunger Games: Catching Fire lit up the box office in November, you’d think there would be no more fire based puns left to describe what The Desolation of Smaug has done at the box office this weekend. However, the second part of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy does feature a giant fire breathing dragon so we can safely say it has had a smoking first weekend, leaving competition in the ashes and set the box office charts aflame. With an estimated $73.7 million, it has failed to reach the heady heights of An Unexpected Journey released last December. However, with another $131 million worldwide, The Desolation of Smaug is unsurprisingly on its way to becoming a huge success.
Even though many were at least a bit disappointed with the first film in the trilogy, fans have still flocked to the cinema this weekend to see the continuing adventures of Bilbo and the dwarfs and finally to see the mighty titular dragon in all his glory. The trailers have been promising something a lot more fun and fast-paced than its predecessor and with little competition until Christmas, expect The Desolation of Smaug’s total to continue to soar, possibly even overtaking An Unexpected Journey when word gets around that this one has more action.
In a distant second place, Frozen is still making decent money on its fourth weekend on release, pulling in approximately $22 million, meaning it has now taken over $265 million worldwide. Frozen’s strong figures are another reason for The Desolation of Smaug’s relatively low opening. Perhaps parents would prefer to take their children to a harmless Disney movie than a fantasy violence filled Hobbit film. Similarly there is also still some pretty fierce competition from the likes of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Thor: The Dark World. While they may now be in fourth and fifth respectively, they are still attracting sufficient crowds to pull punters away from The Desolation of Smaug.
New release Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas came in at number three, taking an estimated $16m, which is not much more than Catching Fire’s $13m on its fourth weekend on release. From there the numbers drop significantly with Thor down to $2.7m (on its sixth weekend on release) but now having a worldwide total of almost $620m.
Out of the Furnace, Delivery Man, Philomena, The Book Thief and Homefront hang around to fill the rest of the top 10 with only Out of the Furnace taking more than $2m. With Anchorman 2: The Legend Continue out on Wednesday, expect The Desolation of Smaug to get a greater run for its money in the battle of the box office charts next weekend.
About the Author
Peter Turner is the Box Office Reporter for TFM. Follow @ilovethatfilm