The Straits Times
Published on Dec 31, 2012

The Hobbit stays atop box office for third week


LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey continues to rule them all at the box office, staying on top for a third-straight week and capping a record-setting US$10.8 billion (S$13.2 billion) year in moviegoing.

The Warner Bros fantasy epic from director Peter Jackson, based on the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien novel, made nearly US$33 million this weekend, according to Sunday studio estimates, despite serious competition from some much-anticipated newcomers. It's now made a whopping US$686.7 million worldwide and US$222.7 million domestically alone.

Two big holiday movies - and potential Academy Awards contenders - also had strong openings. Quentin Tarantino's spaghetti Western-blaxploitation mash-up Django Unchained came in second place for the weekend with US$30.7 million. The Weinstein Co revenge comedy, starring Jamie Foxx as a slave in the Civil War South and Christoph Waltz as the bounty hunter who frees him and then makes him his partner, has earned US$64 million since its Christmas Day opening.

And in third place with US$28 million was the sweeping, all-singing Les Miserables, based on the international musical sensation and the Victor Hugo novel of strife and uprising in 19th century France. The Universal Pictures film, with a cast of A-list actors singing live on camera led by Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe has made US$67.5 million domestically and US$116.2 worldwide since debuting on Christmas.