It seems fitting somehow that if Ron Burgundy had to lose, it would be to a dragon.
Will Ferrell appeared in character as Ron Burgundy in one of the most diverse promotional blitzes in recent memory. Despite all of this, the total for "Anchorman 2" since its Wednesday opening was an estimated $40 million, about $15 million less than many industry forecasts. Box Office Mojo had put the five-day total as high as $61.3 million. Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay's long-gestating passion project made $26.8 million over the weekend, which was about $2 million less than the original's July 2004 debut.
Box-office prognosticators were right on the money for "The Hobbit" sequel's second weekend. "Smaug" made $31.5 million over the weekend, raising its domestic total to $127.5 million (last year's "An Unexpected Journey" was at $150 million after weekend two). Thanks to overseas business, the second installment in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" prequel trilogy seems likely to match its predecessor's $1 billion finish.
Oscar hopeful "American Hustle" got off to a great start with $19.1 million as it opened nationwide after a very limited run in New York and Los Angeles. Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and filmmaker David O. Russell could very well add more Academy Awards to their previous award-winning collaborative efforts.
Speaking of J-Law, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" just passed "Despicable Me 2" to become the year's second-biggest movie behind "Iron Man 3."
Disney's "Frozen" has now beaten last year's "Wreck-It Ralph" and will soon surpass "Tangled" thanks to its continued box-office might. The animated hit made another $19.5 million during its fourth weekend in theaters, raising its total to $191.6 million as Christmas approaches.
Things didn't go as well for the studio's "Saving Mr. Banks," which features Tom Hanks as the company's legendary founder, Walt Disney. The story of how "Mary Poppins" made it to the big screen was #5 over the weekend with $9.3 million as it expanded to 2,110 locations.
"Walking with Dinosaurs" opened at #8 with $7.3 million, a very tepid start for Fox's family-friendly 3D epic. "Dhoom 3" made $3.3 million from just 236 theaters (a new Bollywood opening record) while the very well-reviewed "Her" made $25,000 in six locations. The Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" (which includes Justin Timberlake in a small role) made another $1 million in 148 theaters.
"Her" will expand somewhat on Christmas Day, the same day "The Wolf of Wall Street," Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," Keanu Reeves' "47 Ronin," Mark Wahlberg's "Lone Survivor" and "Justin Bieber's Believe" hit theaters.