By Bill Wine
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We can debate whether Ron Burgundy stayed classy, but he definitely stayed popular. Just not as popular as a certain hobbit.
The sequel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, made it two weekends in a row on top of the heap by earning an estimated $31-million on its second weekend for another first-place finish.
Meanwhile, the Will Ferrell-as-Ron-Burgundy comedy sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, debuted as a strong runnerup, opening with a total of $27-million.
It was a virtual tie for third place between the holdover animated musical, Frozen, and the new Abscam comedy, American Hustle. Each took in an estimated $19-million.
And in fifth place was the new making-of-Mary-Poppins docu-comedy, Saving Mr. Banks, which totaled $9-million.
The weekend’s other new release, the animated Walking with Dinosaurs, earned $7-million, good for eighth place.
Overall, industry-wide totals were sky-high, even by holiday season standards. And that’s apt to continue as five new high-profile movies open on Christmas Day.