Final Hobbit film draws holiday season crowds; tops US-Canada box office

Orlando Bloom as Legolas fires an arrow as The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies heated up the holiday season box office in the United States and Canada. -- PHOTO: WARNER BROS
Orlando Bloom as Legolas fires an arrow as The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies heated up the holiday season box office in the United States and Canada. -- PHOTO: WARNER BROS

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The last movie of Peter Jackson's three Hobbit films rode to the top of United States and Canadian weekend box office charts, selling an estimated US$56.2 million (S$73.91 million) worth of tickets and boosting the holiday movie season that is crucial to Hollywood.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies grabbed another US$34.4 million from Wednesday and Thursday screenings for a combined debut of US$90.6 million over its first five days, distributor Warner Bros. said on Sunday.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, featuring the final on-screen performance by the late Robin Williams, finished second at domestic theatres with US$17.3 million from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from tracking firm Rentrak.

Third place for the weekend before Christmas went to the musical remake Annie, which had been stolen by hackers who attacked the Sony movie studio's computer network and placed on online piracy sites three weeks ago. Annie earned US$16.3 million at domestic theatres.

The Hobbit, based on the classic fantasy novel by JRR Tolkien, stars Martin Freeman in the title role.

Night at the Museum, the third film in the series about exhibits that come to life, features Ben Stiller as a nighttime security guard and Williams as Teddy Roosevelt.

Quvenzhane Wallis plays the title character in Annie, a contemporary remake of the 1977 Broadway musical about an orphan girl.