'Hobbit' extends No. 1 journey with $36.7 million

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tiny hobbit Bilbo Baggins is running circles around some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” took in $36.7 million to remain No. 1 at the box office for the second-straight weekend, easily beating a rush of top-name holiday newcomers.

Part one of Jackson’s prelude to the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the Warner Bros. release raised its domestic total to $149.9 million after 10 days.

The film added $91 million overseas to bring its international total to $284 million and its worldwide haul to $434 million.

“The Hobbit” took a steep 57 percent drop from its domestic $84.6 million opening weekend, but business was soft in general as many people skipped movies in favor of last-minute Christmas preparations.

“The real winner this weekend might be holiday shopping,” said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com.

Tom Cruise’s action thriller “Jack Reacher” debuted in

second-place with a modest $15.6 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Based on the Lee Child best-seller “One Shot,” the Paramount Pictures release stars Cruise as a lone-wolf ex-military investigator tracking a sniper conspiracy.

Opening at No. 3 with $12 million was Judd Apatow’s marital comedy “This Is 40,” a Universal Pictures film featuring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprising their roles from the director’s 2007 hit “Knocked Up.”

Paramount’s road-trip romp “The Guilt Trip,” featuring “Knocked Up” star Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, debuted weakly at No. 6 with $5.4 million over the weekend and $7.4 million since it opened Wednesday.

Playing in narrower release, Paramount’s acrobatic fantasy “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” debuted at No. 11 with $2.1 million.

A 3-D version of Disney’s 2001 animated blockbuster “Monsters, Inc.” also had a modest start at No. 7 with $5 million over the weekend and $6.5 million since opening Wednesday.

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