Paramount’s ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ edged ahead of ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ at Friday’s North American box office by the smallest of margins but will probably have to settle for second place over the weekend session once the family audiences turn out during Saturday and Sunday.
The Ron Burgundy sequel grossed $8.7m during Friday from 3,507 theatres, and it is on pace to finish the weekend around the $30m mark. Although this may appear slightly disappointing relative to expectations, market forecasts underestimated seasonal factors, and it would be a solid enough return.
The film received reasonable reviews and a so-so ‘B’ CinemaScore, which are in line with its steady business since opening on Wednesday. It currently stands on an early $21.9m.
‘The Hobbit 2’ was only $0.1m behind on Friday night but the film’s wider family appeal should allow it to finish the weekend $2m clear in the No.1 spot. The Middle Earth sequel is currently playing in a market high 3,928 theatres during its second weekend in play.
Watch out for awards contender, ‘American Hustle’ in third place. Having stolen the headlines last weekend with its $115,000 per-site average in the specialist market, the film is at it again. The crime comedy grossed a stunning $6.3m after expanding from six to 2,507 theatres on Friday and it has a realistic shot of exceeding $20m over the three days. This would easily set a new record for a David O. Russell wide release.