The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has topped the North American box office for a second consecutive weekend.
The second installment of Peter Jackson’s three-part Hobbit adaptation took $31.5 million.
It comfortably held off competition from Will Ferrell’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which made $26.8 million from Friday to Saturday.
The comedy has now taken $40 million since opening on Wednesday.
Anchorman 2 – which sees character Ron Burgundy join a 24-hour cable news network – performed better in its first weekend than its predecessor, which took $28.4 million in 2004.
Disney animation Frozen fell one place to three, taking $19.2 million.
Just behind was David O Russell’s crime drama American Hustle, taking $19.1 million in its first weekend of nationwide release after opening in six cinemas last week.
American Hustle, staring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, is loosely based on a real-life 1970s bribery scandal that led to the conviction of seven members of the US Congress and several local and federal officials.
Saving Mr. Banks finished in fifth place in its first weekend of wide release, taking $9.3 million.
The $35 million production tells the story of how Walt Disney, played by Tom Hanks, brought Mary Poppins to the big screen.
The number nine spot was grabbed by a surprisingly strong start for Dhoom 3, setting a North American box office opening record for a Bollywood film, taking $3.3 million.
Total US box office takings for 2013 have risen 0.8% in the last year to almost $10.37 billion according to box office tracker Rentrak.
It is expected to surpass last year’s record of $10.77 billion thanks to a number of Christmas Day releases.
Leonardo DiCaprio drama The Wolf of Wall Street, Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Keanu Reeves’ 47 Ronin are among the films to open on Wednesday.
North American box office Top 5:
1. Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – $31.5 million
2. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues – $26.8 million
3. Frozen – $19.2 million
4. American Hustle – $19.1 million
5. Saving Mr. Banks – $9.3 million
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