Welcome to the Box Office Report, where — by the beard of Zeus! — we're wondering how Anchorman 2 somehow did not earn the top spot at the box office this weekend.
1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Buena Vista): $31.5 million in 3,928 theaters
See, the headline is a joke because everyone knew Anchorman 2 was coming out this weekend because Ron Burgandy invented the time-turner from the Harry Potter novels and promoted the movie everywhere, on every medium possible, at all times. And The Hobbit still cruised easily into a second week on top thanks mostly to Anchorman's Wednesday opening, and stragglers who missed Peter Jackson's latest Middle Earth adventure last week due to inclement weather.
2. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount): $26.8 million in 3,507 theaters
What happened here? Will Ferrell personally pushed one of the most exhausting marketing campaigns, ever, and the Anchorman sequel could not beat the original's opening weekend take ($28.4 million in 2004). Though, a Wednesday debut gives Ferrell and partner-in-crime Adam McKay, who penned the script with the former SNL star, a $40 million five-day takeaway.
3. Frozen (Beuna Vista): $19.2 million in 3,540 theaters
Disney's latest animated hit continues with strong weekend financially. I can't wait for my
bratty adorable little cousins to sing all the songs at Christmas dinner, ruining the movie forever making the songs that much more memorable.
4. American Hustle (Sony): $19.1 million in 2,507 theaters
Boom! It's that time of year when the award season fare starts to go wide, outside of the major markets so the rest of the world can finally participate in the Oscar debates. American Hustle earned David O. Russel his best wide opening release ever, besting 2010's The Fighter and 1999's Three Kings.
5. Saving Mr. Banks (Buena Vista): $9.3 million in 2,110 theaters
But while Disney has a win with Frozen, the biopic about the cartoon house's founding father didn't fare so well on its first big weekend. It will likely get lost in the shuffle next weekend when every single movie ever opens. (Or, at least, when Wolf of Wall Street and Walter Mitty open wide, and August: Osage County makes a limiter debut.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.