If it's set in Middle Earth, it's going to open at number one. That's common knowledge. The big question is always how big or how small it's going to open at number one. 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' did open at number one this weekend, but it's a number that's going to feel controversial for people who like to bicker about box office numbers. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it disappointing? Honestly, you could make a case for all of those.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$73,675,000$18,877$73,675,000
2Frozen$22,184,000 (-29.8)$5,970$164,388,000
3A Madea Christmas$16,000,000$7,293$16,000,000
4The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$13,150,000 (-49.8)$3,691$356,982,000
5Thor: The Dark World$2,700,000 (-43.9)
6Out of the Furnace$2,320,000 (-55.6)$1,104$9,468,000
7Delivery Man$1,872,000 (-50.0)$917$27,995,000
8Philomena$1,765,000 (-20.0)$2,103$11,019,000
9The Book Thief$1,675,000 (-36.2)$1,446$14,877,000
10Homefront$1,637,000 (-52.3)$778$18,438,000


Peter Jackson's latest fantasy adventure opened to $73 million, which is higher than any of the openings for the original 'Lord of the Rings' films. The bad news is that those openings were ten years ago and that last year's 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' opened to $84 million. So it's ahead of most of the pack, which is good, but behind its predecessor, which could be bad. After all, opinions were generally mixed on the first 'Hobbit' movie and this could be the result of people just flat-out abandoning this once beloved universe. We'll wait until a second weekend before we jump to any snap judgments, though.

'Frozen' fell to second place, and with a tiny 29% drop and a weekend gross of $22 million, you won't find many people complaining. With $164 million in the bank, the animated musical is on track to hit $200 million sooner rather than later. If the percentage drops remain that consistently small, it could even reach as high as $250 million.

'A Madea Christmas' opened in third place with $16 million, a decent number for a movie of its budget, but on the low end for Tyler Perry's Madea movies. However, it was produced cheaply enough that it should be fine in the end. Tyler Perry doesn't need massive hits to keep doing his thing.

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' continued to perform well a month into its release, grossing $13 million for a $356 million total. At this point, it's unlikely that it'll reach 'Iron Man 3' and become the highest grossing film of the year, but it's going to tap out with a massive number that will leave everyone involved very, very happy.

And in fifth place, 'Thor the Dark World' is still frustratingly close to $200 million. One more week should do the trick.

In sixth and seventh place, 'Out of the Furnace' and 'Delivery Man' continued to do paltry business, grossing $2 million and $1 million respectively. The only difference is that everyone in 'Out of the Furnace' is going to be okay and Vince Vaughn is still suffering his second major bomb of the year.

In eighth place, 'Philomena' has now grossed $11 million, which is pretty good. In ninth place, 'The Book Thief' Has Made $14 million, which is also pretty good. In tenth place, 'Homefront' has made $18 million, which isn't that good. It's all matter of perspective on those.