Ron Burgandy may have salon quality hair, but this weekend he took a back seat to another star with plenty of hair - on his feet.
Yes, it was a close race at the box office, but when the smoke cleared it was the dragonfire of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" setting the box office ablaze, as last weekend's champion earned the top spot again with an estimated $31.5 million.
That was enough to beat out the massively hyped and long awaited comedy sequel "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," which earned an estimated $26.8 million. The film's weekend total was slightly deflated thanks to a Wednesday opening, however; over the full five day frame, "Anchorman 2" brought in an estimated $40 million, which is decent but not much of a bump from the $36.5 million the original "Anchorman" made in its first five days way back in 2004.
"Anchorman 2's" middling debut may also have been affected by an unusually crowded marketplace. Besides "The Desolation of Smaug," Will Ferrell also had to deal with Disney's animated hit "Frozen," which earned $19.2 million for a third place finish. And two award season favorites made the jump from the arthouse to the cineplex: "American Hustle" (fourth place with an estimated $19.1 million), and the live action Disney fable "Saving Mr. Banks" (fifth place with $9.3 million).
The bottom half of the chart also got some unexpected juice thanks to the appearance of the Bollywood smash "Dhoom 3," which set a U.S. record for the biggest Bollywood debut with an estimated $3.3m.
This week should be even more interesting, as the overstuffed box office is somehow set to get even more crowded: "The Wolf of Wall Street," "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "Grudge Match" and "47 Ronin" are all lining up to try and get a Christmas bounce. With so many films in the marketplace, though, it's guaranteed that more than one will end up with coal in its stocking.
For now, though, here's a look at this weekend's box office top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" - $31.5m (our review)
2. "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" - $26.8m
3. "Frozen" - $19.2m (our review)
4. "American Hustle" - $19.1m (our review)
5. "Saving Mr. Banks" - $9.3m (our review)
6. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" - $8.8m (our review)
7. "A Madea Christmas" - $8.5m (our review)
8. "Walking with Dinosaurs" - $7.3m
9. "Dhoom 3" - $3.3m
10. "Thor: The Dark World" - $1.3m (our review)