The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies tops US box office over Christmas weekend

The third instalment in Peter Jackson's trilogy took in over $40m

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The Independent Culture

The Hobbit reigned victorious over the Christmas weekend, topping the US box office as it raked in an estimated $41.4million.

The Battle of the Five Armies, the final instalment in Peter Jackson’s trilogy, beat Second World War film Unbroken and Disney’s Into The Woods to take the top spot, according to Rentrak. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie completed the top five.

Rentrak’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said, "Warner Bros.' The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies loomed large over the global box office landscape as it grossed $89.2 million this weekend internationally, with approximately 11.6 million admissions on 17.1k screens in 62 markets as the international total crosses the $400 million milestone and the worldwide total is now at an astounding $573.6 million."

Culminating in an epic 45-minute battle scene, the film stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Cate Blanchett.

And in an alternative universe, it could also have featured Jamie Oliver. The naked chef said he was asked to cook at Jackson's 50th birthday party and was offered the role in exchange for the honour.

However, he had to turn the part down due to prior work commitments.


Meanwhile, controversial Sony comedy The Interview, based around a plot to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, earned $15 million from its 2 million online rentals and purchases.

Writer director and star Seth Rogen said: “I'm so grateful that the movie found its way into theaters, and I'm thrilled that people actually went out and saw it.”

Sony had originally cancelled the film's release, following a cyber attack believed to have been carried out by the Hermit Kingdom.

North Korea has firmly denied the allegations.

Top 10 films at the US box office, as of Sunday 28 December, 2014:

1. Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies , Warner Bros. - $41.4m
2. Unbroken , Universal - $31.7m
3. Into The Woods, Disney - $31.0m
4. Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb , 20th Century Fox - $20.6m
5. Annie , Sony - $16.6m
6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Lionsgate - $10.0m
7. The Gambler, Paramount - $9.3m
8. The Imitation Game, The Weinstein Company - $7.9m
9. Exodus: Gods And Kings , 20th Century Fox - $6.8m
10. Wild , Fox Searchlight - $5.4m
11. Big Hero 6 , Disney - $4.9m
12. Top Five, Paramount - $3.8m