Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit : The Battle Of Five Armies’ grossed another $16.5m at the North American Friday box office, taking its tally to a strong $50.9m after just three days in play. Audiences liked the Middle Earth finale more than critics with an ‘A- CinemaScore against a 60% RT reviews average and word of mouth should propel it towards $86m over the five day launch.
The weekend’s two other wide openers are in a close battle for second place, which is too close to call. ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ earned a below par $5.6m on Friday putting it on pace for a $17.5m weekend, a couple of million off low-end market expectations. Although the Broadway musical adaptation, ‘Annie’, will take a similar amount after opening on $5.3m, it compares favourably with the market analysts’ $15m predictions for the session. Audiences slightly preferred Annie – an ‘A- CinemaScore as opposed to a ‘B+’ – but critics disliked it a lot more with a 29% RT rating being 20% behind ‘Museum 3’.
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