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Arrow-wielding elves and fiery Smaug amp up action in The Hobbit

Published on Dec 13, 2013 8:13 AM
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug starring (from left) Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and William Kircher. -- PHOTO: WARNER BROS  

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - A small-town hobbit faces larger-than-life challenges in The Desolation Of Smaug, as director Peter Jackson intensifies the action in the second installment of fantasy film The Hobbit, expected to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the year.

Desolation Of Smaug, out in United States theatres on Friday, picks up the tale of The Hobbit as Bilbo Baggins and the band of 13 dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield make their way across treacherous terrain on their quest to the Lonely Mountain, currently guarded by a fire-breathing dragon, Smaug.

The Warner Bros production is expected to be one of the year's highest-grossing worldwide with projections of US$1 billion (S$1.26 billion) in ticket sales. Industry experts predict it will ring up US$80 million in its opening weekend at the North American box office.

Bilbo, a reserved hobbit forced out of his comfort zone, has come into his own in the second film. But his possession of the mysterious ring he stole from Gollum's cave in the first installment - the same ring that leads to an epic saga in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy - is taking a hold on his soul.

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