The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the special-effects-laden tale that pits dwarfs against a dragon, blasted to its third consecutive box office title this weekend.
The film collected $29.9m (£18m) over the post-Christmas weekend to beat newcomers The Wolf of Wall Street and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Walt Disney’s animated film Frozen was second with ticket sales of $28.8m (£17.4m) in its third week, ahead of Will Ferrell’s quirky comedy Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which collected $20.2m ($12m) at domestic theatres.
American Hustle, which reunited director David O. Russell with his Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, was fourth with $19.6m (£11.9m) in ticket sales at theatres in the United States and Canada, according to studio estimates.
Director Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street was fifth with $18.5m (£11.2m) after finishing a close second to The Hobbit on Christmas Day, according to estimates from box office tracking site Rentrak.
The Wolf of Wall Street, a nearly three-hour movie, received generally positive reviews but registered only a C rating from CinemaScore, a site that measures audience reaction.
The top 10:
1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ($29.9m, £18m)
2. Frozen ($28.8m, £17.4m)
3. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues ($20.2m, £12m)
4. American Hustle ($19.6m, £11.9m)
5. The Wolf of Wall Street ($18.5m, £11.2m)
6. Saving Mr. Banks ($14m, £8.5m)
7. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty ($13m, £7.9m)
8. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($10.2m, £6.2m)
9. 47 Ronin ($9.9m, £6m)
10. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas ($7.4m, £4.5m)
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