Hobbit takes third straight win at North American box office

Gandalf the wizard confronts the battle of the five armies in the last of director Peter Jackson's three films based on JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit. -- PHOTO: WARNER BROS
Gandalf the wizard confronts the battle of the five armies in the last of director Peter Jackson's three films based on JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit. -- PHOTO: WARNER BROS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The last of Peter Jackson's three Hobbit films rode to a third straight weekend atop United States and Canadian box office charts, selling an estimated US$21.9 million (S$29.2 million) in tickets.

Disney's film version of the dark Broadway musical Into The Woods claimed the No 2 spot with US$19.1 million, while the World War II drama Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie, finished third with US$18.4 million.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies grabbed another US$9.3 million from New Year's Day screenings for a four-day take through Sunday of US$31.2 million, and has a domestic total of US$220.8 million since its Dec 17 release, according to estimates from tracking firm Rentrak.

Unbroken, Jolie's second directorial effort, tells the real-life story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini's two years as a prisoner of war in Japan.

Into The Woods, an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical that puts a spin on children's fairy tales, stars Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and a brief appearance by Johnny Depp.