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Final chapter of ‘The Hobbit’ dominates box office

ABOVE: Watch the trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

NEW YORK — While Hollywood continued to wrestle with the fallout of the Sony hacking scandal, the weekend box office offered the solace of a moviegoing truism: Hobbits sell.

Peter Jackson’s final installment of his six J.R.R. Tolkien adventures, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, debuted with $56.2 million over the weekend and $90.6 million since opening Wednesday, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Aided by popularity on IMAX screens, The Battle of the Five Armies dominated the pre-Christmas frame with a five-day haul similar to the franchise’s previous entry, The Desolation of Smaug, even if its actual debut weekend was notably less than both prior Hobbit movies. In its second week of release overseas, Five Armies added $105.5 million to bring its two-week global total past $350 million.

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Another final installment in a trilogy, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, opened in a distant second place. The Vancouver-made comedy, which features both Robin Williams’ and Mickey Rooney’s final performances, took in $17.3 million, well off the pace of previous franchise entries. The franchise’s previous debut was $54.2 million for 2009’s Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.

The Annie remake, starring Quvenzhane Wallis as the titular orphan, opened with $16.3 million.

Last week’s top film, Ridley Scott’s Moses epic, Exodus: Gods and Kings, tumbled to fourth place with $8.1 million in its second week. It slid a dramatic 67 percent.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 finished the weekend in fifth place.

Reese Witherspoon’s Wild, directed by Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée, had a disappointing wide opening weekend. It ranked No. 6 with $4.2 million, bringing its total to $7.2 million.

– with files by Global News

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