Home Movies Box Office: “The Hobbit” Edges Out “Anchorman 2,” with “American Hustle” Gaining

“Anchorman 2” had a great Friday night, and beat “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug” by a nose. But by Saturday the kids took over the box office and never gave it back. The result is a weekend win for “Smaug” with $31.455 million vs. $26.7 mi for Will Ferrell and friends. That movie now has $40 mil in the bank. “Smaug” $127.5 mil and $262 mil worldwide.

Bigger news: “American Hustle” comes out of the box at number 4 with $20 million. This is going to be Sony’s comeback hit, the one that erases their summer failures. “American Hustle” has lots of Oscar nominations in its future. Right now it’s leading the pack vs. “12 Years a Slave” for Best Picture. David O. Russell is poised for a big success after “The Fighter” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”

If “American Hustle” really breaks out, and I think it will, Amy Adams is going to knock one of the big 5 out of Best Actress. Emma Thompson would seem the most vulnerable, and Sandra Bullock next. Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench are secure.

One movie that seems more lost at sea than “All is Lost” is “Dallas Buyers Club.” It’s already in decline at $15 million even with two Oscar-tipped performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. What happened? Focus Features is what happened. They closed up their New York shop, got rid of almost everyone, and are going mainstream. They leave a long line of casualties behind, from “Brokeback Mountain” to “Milk” to “Atonement” and more. In their next iteration, Focus maybe will more focused under Peter Schlessel.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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