Tolkien epic “The Hobbit” worked its magic at the North American box office this weekend, signaling a farewell to the blockbuster fantasy franchise, industry data showed Monday.
The last of six films adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s books by Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” took $54.7 million on its debut weekend in the United States and Canada, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
The success of “The Hobbit” flattened the competition in the final weekend before the Christmas holiday period.
Second spot went to “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” the third film in the Ben Stiller family comedy franchise based on the popular 1993 children’s book.
The movie, which sees Stiller reprise his role as the security guard trying to keep a track on exhibits which come to life at the New York Museum of Natural History, took $17.1 million.
In third place was another debutant, “Annie,” the rebooted big-screen adaptation of the famous Broadway musical about the adventures of an orphan girl which also spawned film versions in 1982 and 1999.
The latest version, starring Quvenzhane Wallis in the title role and Jamie Foxx as the tycoon who takes her under his wing, took $15.9 million.
Ridley Scott’s historical blockbuster “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” starring Christian Bale as Moses, meanwhile fell to fourth spot with $8.1 million.
Another sequel, “Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” slipped to fifth with $7.9 million, pushing its earnings to $289.2 million after five weeks.