The much heralded return of Ron Burgundy to the big screen was no match for Smaug and Bilbo Baggins, whose second part of The Hobbit trilogy took top dollar at theaters for the second week in a row.
Pulling in $31.5 million, The Desolation of Smaug stomped on Will Farrell's Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which earned a respectable $26.8 million.
Frozen grabbed $19.2 million for third place in its 5th week, while American Hustle sold 19.1 million, good for a fourth-place finish in its second week.
“It was a solid start for Anchorman, but there were some pretty high expectations based on the first Anchorman,” said Brandon Gray, an independent box-office analyst and former president of Box Office Mojo, an industry tracker.
“People were definitely aware of the movie, but making a comedy sequel is harder than for an action movie,” he said. “Even massive media coverage won’t necessarily translate into people flocking to theaters.”