The return of Ron Burgundy and his news team has been positioned as a big, huge deal. 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' has been marketed more than any major release this month and everyone just assumed that the film would effortlessly snag massive box office numbers thanks purely to saturation (on top of the fact that the original is quite beloved). So it must sting a little for Paramount to see the film open in second place and it must sting even more once they compare the opening numbers to the opening of the first film from 2004.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$31,455,000 (-57.3)$8,008$127,500,000
2Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$26,775,000$7,635$40,000,000
3Frozen$19,163,000 (-15.1)$5,413$191,555,000
4American Hustle$19,100,000 (+2,479.5)$7,691$20,200,000
5Saving Mr. Banks$9,321,000 (+2,154.9)
6The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$8,750,000 (-36.0)$2,967$371,700,000
7A Madea Christmas$8,500,000 (-46.9)$3,874$28,300,000
8Walking With Dinosaurs$7,300,000$2,259$7,300,000
9Dhoom 3$3,305,000$14,004$3,305,000
10Thor: The Dark World$1,328,000 (-52.9)$1,190$200,766,000


Let's put it this way: the first 'Anchorman' opened to $28 million nearly a decade ago. 'Anchorman 2' grossed $40 million over five days (it was released on Wednesday), but it only made $26 million from Friday to Sunday, making its weekend take lower than the original. Ouch. Everyone can can take comfort in that larger five day total and the fact that the film wasn't that expensive and will undoubtedly make its money back, but 'Anchorman 2' isn't going to be the massive blockbuster smash that the studio positioned it to be. It'll most likely top the original's $85 million gross, but we have no idea if it'll go too much higher.

The first spot remained in the possession of 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,' which held it despite a large 57% drop. With $31 million made over the weekend, the film now has $127 million after two weeks. That isn't awful, but it's a few steps behind virtually every other one of Peter Jackson's Middle Earth films. There's definitely some 'Hobbit' fatigue setting in already.

However, people are certainly not tired of 'Frozen,' which took a teensy 15% drop and grossed $19 million, putting it within spitting distance of $200 million. With $191 million in the bank, this film will surely clean up over the Christmas holiday and will cross that milestone by next week.

In fourth place, 'American Hustle' emerged from limited release to a very nice $19 million opening. The big question right now is whether or not it'll match the surprise success of director David O. Russell's previous film, 'Silver Linings Playbook,' but this is a good start. If audiences actually like the film (and many of them seem to), expect it to hang around for a while.

Meanwhile, 'Saving Mr. Banks' also entered wide release, but it only grossed a disappointing $9 million. It's never too late for this one to turn things around, but that's a bumpy start for a movie that has Tom Hanks' name above the title.

In sixth place, 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' continued to do its thing, grossing $8 million for a $371 million total. The big question now is whether or not it'll stick around long enough to crack $400 million and challenge 'Iron Man 3''s box office total. Maybe? Christmas will be big in deciding that.

'A Madea Christmas' continued to do solid business in seventh place, grossing $8 million for a $28 million total. It should end up with around $50 million, which is typical for a Tyler Perry joint. Below that, 'Walking With Dinosaurs' stumbled into play with $7 million. And below that, 'Dhoom 3' made a surprising jump into the top 10 from limited release, making over $3 million.

Finally, 'Thor: The Dark World' managed to cross the $200 million mark in 10th place. Now it can quietly move out of theaters.

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