LOS ANGELES, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Director Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," is No. 1 at the North American box office, receipts show.
The first of three prequels to Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" blockbusters grossed $36.7 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters this week, Box Office Mojo reported.
Coming in at No. 2 is "Jack Reacher" with $15.6 million, followed by "This is 40" at No. 3 with $12 million, "Rise of the Guardians" at No. 4 with $5.9 million and "Lincoln" at No. 5 with $5.6 million.
Rounding out the top tier are "The Guilt Trip" at No. 6 with $5.39 million, "Monsters, Inc. [3D]" at No. 7 at $5.04 million, "Skyfall" at No. 8 with $4.7 million, "Life of Pi" at No. 9 with $3.8 million and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" at No. 10 with $2.6 million.
Swedish princess to wed June 8
STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Sweden's royal family said a June 8 date had been set for the wedding of Princess Madeleine to American banker Chris O'Neill.
The big event will take place at the Royal Palace church in Stockholm and the date was decided upon by the couple after discussions with King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, the newspaper Expressen said Sunday.
Followers of Swedish royalty told the TT news agency the venue was much smaller than the church where Princess Victoria tied the knot, which means the wedding ceremony will be on the intimate side.
Madeleine and London-born O'Neill have been an item for about two years and it was revealed earlier this year the couple had been living together in O'Neill's New York apartment since fall 2011.
The Local.se said the princess has been working with a child-advocacy non-profit while O'Neill is a partner with Noster Capital.
Gymnast Louis Smith wins 'Strictly Come Dancing'
LONDON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Britain's Olympic silver medal-earning gymnast Louis Smith was declared the winner of the competition series "Strictly Come Dancing" in London.
"I can finally say I won something in the year 2012," Smith, 23, said upon learning his fate Saturday night.
Smith beat out actress Dani Harmer, TV presenter Denise Van Outen and Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh for the honor, the BBC said.
About 14 million people tuned in for the show's finale.
'How I Met Your Mother' set to return for Season 9
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" was renewed for a ninth season after star Jason Segel agreed to return, Deadline.com reported.
The show's future was unclear because Segel reportedly wanted to leave to focus on his successful film career; however, he signed on Friday for an additional season.
"I'm happy the world(s) didn't end," Alyson Hannigan, who plays Segel's on-screen wife on the sitcom, tweeted, posting a link to Deadline.com's story about the renewal and referring to the much-exaggerated, ancient Mayan prediction about the Dec. 21, 2012 end of the world.
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