Our Hobbit Habit Puts a Freeze on Frozen

LOS ANGELES -- Undaunted hobbits trumped princess power at the multiplex.

Per studio estimates Sunday, Warner Bros.' (TWX) Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was No. 1 at the weekend box office with $73.7 million, besting last weekend's No. 1 film, Disney's (DIS) animated fable Frozen.

Melting down to the No. 2 position, Frozen earned $22.2 in its third weekend, bringing its impressive overall domestic ticket total to nearly $164.4 million.

Despite its first place position, Hobbit fell short of topping its prequel's debut. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which opened this same weekend last year, gained $84.6 million.

Hobbit rules this date and Warner Bros. has linked this brand to this time of year very effectively, said box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Rentrak (RENT).

We had an excellent weekend, said Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. Of course, it could have been a little better, but the weather back East was really tough last night and probably took a couple million dollars out of my pocket. But our box office will survive. We are right on target to do very similar numbers to the last Hobbit, which grossed a $1 billion worldwide (overall).

Lionsgate's (LGF) holiday-themed Tyler Perry's a Madea Christmas came in third place with $16.2 million.

All of the Tyler Perry movies have done in that $20 million plus range, but the weather was a factor in some of the performances of these films, said Dergarabedian.

Another Lionsgate film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, earned $13.2 million for the fourth place slot. To date Catching Fire has grossed $739.9 million, surpassing the worldwide box office total for The Hunger Games, which brought in $691 million.

If you liked this article you might like

Dual-Class Voting Structures Spur Growing Revolt

Finding the Bullish and Bearish Reversals

Twitter Isn't the Emperor, but It Definitely Has No Clothes

Apple, Google Get Serious About Self-Driving Cars -- Tech Roundup

What to Watch This Week: Presidential Election, Mylan Earnings