'Hobbit' keeps 'Anchorman 2' from a legendary debut

Ron Burgundy kept it classy, but Smaug kept it desolate.

The fire-breathing dragon of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug held off Will Ferrell's parody news team from Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, topping the weekend with $31.5 million, according to studio estimates from box office trackers Rentrak.

The second-week haul brought Peter Jackson's fantasy adaptation to $127.5 million and was plenty to repel Anchorman, which fell below estimates and the original's debut in 2004.

Anchorman did $26.8 million, short of its $30 million projections. The film, released Wednesday, has collected $40 million.

The original, which would go on to do $85.3 million and become a video cult hit, opened to $28.4 million.

Still, Anchorman is hardly off the air. Live-action comedy sequels are notoriously tough, and the film drew an approval rating of 76% from critics and 72% from audiences, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Disney's animated Frozen was third with $19.2 million.

The Oscar hopeful American Hustle was fourth with $19.1 million in its first weekend in nationwide release, a strong showing.

Tom Hanks' Saving Mr. Banks was fifth with $9.3 million, meeting most expectations.

Final figures are due Monday.


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