If it's set in Middle-earth, it's going to open at No. 1.

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" was No. 1 at the movie box-office over the weekend.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $73,675,000 $18,877 $73,675,000
2 Frozen $22,184,000 (-29.8) $5,970 $164,388,000
3 A Madea Christmas $16,000,000 $7,293 $16,000,000
4 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $13,150,000 (-49.8) $3,691 $356,982,000
5 Thor: The Dark World $2,700,000 (-43.9)
$1,193 $198,125,000
6 Out of the Furnace $2,320,000 (-55.6) $1,104 $9,468,000
7 Delivery Man $1,872,000 (-50.0) $917 $27,995,000
8 Philomena $1,765,000 (-20.0) $2,103 $11,019,000
9 The Book Thief $1,675,000 (-36.2) $1,446 $14,877,000
10 Homefront $1,637,000 (-52.3) $778 $18,438,000

 

Peter Jackson's latest fantasy adventure opened to $73 million, which is higher than any of the openings for the original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy films.

Last year, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" opened with $84 million.

"Frozen" was in second place, with a 29 percent drop to a weekend gross of $22 million. With $164 million in the bank, the animated musical is on track to hit $200 million.

"A Madea Christmas" opened in third place with $16 million.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" continues to perform well a month into its release, grossing $13 million for a $356 million total. In fifth place was "Thor the Dark World," and is now close to $200 million.

"Out of the Furnace" grossed $2 million and "Delivery Man" $1 million.

Other top 10 finishers for the weekend include "Philomena," which has now grossed $11 million; "The Book Thief," with $14 million to date; and "Homefront," with $18 million in box-office receipts since it opened.