"The Hobbit" keeps box office crown for third week
By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud
(Reuters) - The dwarfs and elves of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" prevailed at the North American box office again over the weekend, as its $32.9 million in ticket sales topped both the star-packed musical "Les Miserables" and the western "Django Unchained."
Despite surging past "The Hobbit" on Christmas day with an $18.1 million opening, "Les Miz" managed only third place in U.S. and Canadian sales with $28 million as Christmas shoppers returned from the malls to boost Hollywood's box office, according to studio estimates.
"The Hobbit," in its third week of release, has now grossed $222.7 million domestically, Warner Bros said.
Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," a western starring Jamie Fox as a slave turned bounty hunter, took second with an impressive $30.7 million.
Tom Cruise's crime drama "Jack Reacher," which features author Lee Child's former military investigator solving a fatal sniper attack, landed in fifth with $14 million, outpaced by "Parental Guidance," the Billy Crystal-Bette Midler as grandparents comedy which took in $14.8 million to nab fourth.
Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution for Fox, said the "Parental Guidance" performance was "just a tremendous result for our little engine that could."
Backed by a musical score that made it a Broadway icon, "Les Miz" surged past "The Hobbit" on Christmas day, collecting $18.1 million to pass "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" with the biggest midweek opening day by a musical.
But it was not enough to conquer the "Hobbit" juggernaut, which scored its third straight box office weekend win. Continued...