LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK: The last movie of Peter Jackson's three "Hobbit" films rode to the top of U.S. and Canadian weekend box office charts, selling an estimated $56.2 million worth of tickets and boosting the holiday movie season that is crucial to Hollywood.
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" grabbed another $34.4 million from Wednesday and Thursday screenings for a combined debut of $90.6 million over its first five days, distributor Warner Bros. said on Sunday.
"Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb," featuring the final on-screen performance by the late Robin Williams, finished second at domestic theaters with $17.3 million from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from tracking firm Rentrak.
Third place for the weekend before Christmas went to the musical remake "Annie," which had been stolen by hackers who attacked the Sony movie studio's computer network and placed on online piracy sites three weeks ago. "Annie" earned $16.3 million at domestic theaters.
"The Hobbit", based on the classic fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, stars Martin Freeman in the title role.
"Night at the Museum," the third film in the series about exhibits that come to life, features Ben Stiller as a nighttime security guard and Williams as Teddy Roosevelt.
Quvenzhane Wallis plays the title character in "Annie," a contemporary remake of the 1977 Broadway musical about an orphan girl.
"The Hobbit" was distributed by Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros. studio. "Night at the Museum" was released by 20th Century Fox, the film studio owned by 21st Century Fox.