Paramount's Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues took first place for a second consecutive day on Thursday with a daily take of $5.12 million. The long awaited comedy sequel starring Will Ferrell topped The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug by a slim $73,307 for the day. Anchorman 2 was down 37 percent from Wednesday's opening day performance, which represented a solid daily hold for the film. With a two-day start of $13.22 million, Anchorman 2 is running 7 percent behind the $14.25 million two-day midweek December start of 2010's Little Fockers. Anchorman 2 will hope to really pick up the pace today, in part from the film's grosses thus far likely being deflated by the film's relatively late release date change to Wednesday.
Warner's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug placed in a very close second with $5.05 million. The second installment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy was up 4 percent over Wednesday. The Desolation of Smaug was easily the week's top film with a solid seven-day start of $96.05 million. However, that was a bit below the film's lofty pre-release expectations and places the film 15 percent behind the $113.15 million seven-day start of last year's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (which increased 4.5 percent on its first Thursday to gross $6.62 million). The Desolation of Smaug is likely to experience a hefty second weekend decline, but should stabilize after this weekend with the aid of the holidays.
Disney's Frozen remained strong with $2.19 million to place in third. The 3D computer animated blockbuster from Walt Disney Animation was up a healthy 23 percent over Wednesday and up 28 percent over last Thursday. Schools getting out of the session for the holiday break and continued strong word of mouth both helped out the film on Thursday. Frozen took second for the week with $30.19 million. That was down just 24 percent from the previous frame and brings the film's domestic total to a stronger than expected $172.39 million after 23 days of wide release.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire held steady in fourth with $1.36 million. Lionsgate's blockbuster sequel starring Jennifer Lawrence was up 10 percent over Wednesday and down a very solid 25 percent from last Thursday. Catching Fire placed in fourth this week with $19.12 million. That was down 44 percent from the previous frame and brings the film's four-week total to a massive $362.95 million.
Fellow Lionsgate release Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas rounded out the day's top five with $0.91 million. The latest Madea film from Tyler Perry was up 13 percent over Wednesday. A Madea Christmas placed in fourth this week with a softer than expected seven-day start of $19.77 million. The film will hope to hold up better than Perry's films normally do, with the potential aid of the holidays.