Film earns almost RM100mil over the weekend.

FANTASY blockbuster The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ruled the North American box office this weekend, holding off a strong festive season challenge from Disney’s animated musical Frozen, estimates showed on Dec 29.

The second part of Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson’s trilogy of films, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved classic, earned almost US$29.9mil (RM98mil) over the weekend, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf, the film has raked in US$190.3mil (RM625.9mil) in the United States and Canada since its release three weeks ago.

Moving up one spot to second place with US$28.8mil (RM94.7mil) was Frozen, a loosely based retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale The Snow Queen.

The film, the 53rd movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series which began with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, has taken US$248.4mil (RM817mil) to date.

In third place was Anchorman 2, the Will Ferrell comedy which sees him reprise his role as screwball newsman Ron Burgundy. The sequel took US$20.2mil (RM66.4mil) in its second week of release.

Critically acclaimed comedy American Hustle – starring Christian Bale and Amy Adams as grifters who team up with an FBI agent played by Bradley Cooper to bring down other con artists – remained in fourth place.

The movie, which has been nominated for seven Golden Globes and is expected to be in contention at the Oscars, took US$19.6mil.

In fifth spot was Martin Scorsese’s latest collaboration with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street, earning US$18.5mil (RM64.5mil) on its debut weekend.

The movie is based on the debauched rise and fall of disgraced Wall Street financier Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), who conned his way to hundreds of millions in the 1990s while maintaining a notoriously drug-fuelled lifestyle.

Sixth place was taken by Saving Mr. Banks, a drama about Walt Disney’s quest to make a film adaptation of Mary Poppins, with US$14mil (RM46mil).

Its stars – Tom Hanks as Disney and Emma Thompson as Poppins’ anti-Hollywood author – have both been nominated for Golden Globes.

In seventh place was Ben Stiller’s romantic comedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty an updated adaptation of James Thurber’s famous 1939 short story, about a strait-laced officer worker who loses himself in heroic daydreams. The film, which stars Stiller in the lead role, took US$13mil (RM42.7mil).

In eighth place was the latest instalment of the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise with US$10.2mil (RM33.6mil), taking its overall earnings since its record opening six weeks ago to US$391mil (RM1.3bil) in North America alone.

The worst fears surrounding Keanu Reeves’ latest movie 47 Ronin were confirmed however as the big-budget samurai epic opened in ninth with a meager US$9.9mil (RM32.6mil).

Reports have said the troubled movie – originally due for release in November 2012 – may lead to a US$175mil (RM576mil) loss for Universal Pictures.

In 10th, with US$7.4mil (RM24.3mil), was A Madea Christmas, directed by and starring Tyler Perry in his recurring role as Madea, chronicling yet another adventure in the life of the tough, old woman. – AFP