A Madea Christmas underperforms.
The first place winner at the box office this weekend was no surprise with The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug taking the crown and $73.7 million worth of coin. Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel and directed by the Lord of the Rings trilogy helmer Peter Jackson, Smaug was the fourth biggest December opening in history.
The bigger surprise came in second place, which went to Disney's animated family film Frozen and not Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, as expected. Madea, which came in third place with $16 million, performed below expectations and had the worst opening of the eight films that star Tyler Perry's most iconic character.
Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Thor: The Dark World came in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Next week, the box office will be packed with high-profile new releases, including the last of the Oscar contenders (Inside Llewyn Davis and American Hustle), family fare (Saving Mr. Banks) and an adult-oriented comedy (Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy).
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(Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment)