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'The Hobbit' Holds Off 'Jack Reacher,' 'This is 40' at Box Office

This was … unexpected. 
Despite dropping an estimated 56% in its second weekend in theaters, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey maintained its hold on the box-office top slot, besting at least five newcomers. 
The Hobbit earned an estimated $36.7M from screenings in various formats, more than twice the amount earned by Jack Reacher ($15.6M), the movie that landed in second place. 
This ranks as a relative slow start for a Tom Cruise thriller – particularly one that’s adapted from a powerful series of crime novels. Case in point: Cruise’s latest Mission: Impossible opened to $12.7M back in 2011, but that was only in 425 theaters. However, earlier this year, Cruise’s Rock of Ages also got off to a slow start with a $14.4M opening in 3,470 locations. 
Reacher finished just ahead of the latest Judd Apatow comedy, This is 40, which rolled into theaters with a $12M opening. Sadly, for Apatow, that’s almost half of the $22M earned by his Funny People back in 2009. And billing it as the “sort of” sequel to Knocked Up didn’t help post Knocked Up opening numbers. That comedy grabbed $30.6M in its debut weekend in 2007.
Apatow’s Knocked Up partner, Seth Rogen, saw his The Guilt Trip cruise to a sixth-place opening with an estimated $5.3M. And the Pixar re-release of Monsters Inc. added an additional $5M to its vaults, setting up a nice tease for Monsters University, next year’s sequel/prequel. 
Here’s the full Top 10 list for the weekend:
1. The Hobbit, $36.7M, $149.8M
2. Jack Reacher, $15.6M
3. This is 40, $12M
4. Rise of the Guardians, $5.9M, $79.6M 
5. Lincoln, $5.6M, $116.7M
6. The Guilt Trip, $5.3M, $7.4M
7. Monsters Inc., $5M, $6.5M
8. Skyfall, $4.7M, $279.9M 
9. Life of Pi, $3.8M, $76.1M
Follow along on Twitter @Sean_OConnell and @Fandango
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