'Hobbit' blasts past newcomers to claim third box office crown

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:16pm IST

Cast and crew members pose for photographers at the premiere of the film ''The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'' in Los Angeles December 2, 2013. REUTERS/Phil McCarten/Files

Cast and crew members pose for photographers at the premiere of the film ''The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'' in Los Angeles December 2, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Phil McCarten/Files

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LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," the special-effects-laden tale that pits dwarfs against a dragon, blasted to its third consecutive box office title, collecting $29.9 million over the post-Christmas weekend to beat newcomers "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

Walt Disney's (DIS.N) animated film "Frozen" was second with ticket sales of $28.8 million in its third week, ahead of Will Ferrell's quirky comedy "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," which collected $20.2 million at domestic theaters.

"American Hustle," which reunited director David O. Russell with his "Silver Linings Playbook" stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, was fourth with $19.6 million in ticket sales at theaters in the United States and Canada, according to studio estimates.

Director Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" was fifth with $18.5 million after finishing a close second to "The Hobbit" on Christmas Day, according to estimates from box office tracking site Rentrak.

"The Wolf of Wall Street," a nearly three-hour movie, received generally positive reviews but registered only a "C" rating from CinemaScore, a site that measures audience reaction. (Reporting by Ronald Grover and Andrea Burzynski; Editing by Eric Beech)

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