Some audiences and critics have been buzzing at how much better the second installment in the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is than the first part, but that didn't translate into improved box office numbers.

Making a respectable $73 million debut at the top of the weekend chart, Desolation of Smaug fell short of the $84 million that An Unexpected Journey earned when it opened last year. The drop is certainly an indication that interest in the Hobbit movies is slipping, but the true test will be to see how well it holds on into next weekend.

Opening in Smaug's sizable shadow, Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas turned out to be something of a lump of coal. With $16 million it settled in at number three behind last weekend's first place entry Frozen. That marks the lowest ever debut for a film in the Madea franchise, but given the shared weekend with something like Desolation of Smaug it's hard to tell if audiences are losing interest or just prioritizing their holiday dollars.

For the complete top ten breakdown, check out the chart below:

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug * $73,675,000 Total: $73,675,000 LW: N
THTRS: 3,903
Frozen (2013) $22,184,000 Total: $164,388,000 LW: 1
THTRS: 3,716
Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas * $16,000,000 Total: $16,000,000 LW: N
THTRS: 2,194
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $13,150,000 Total: $356,982,000 LW: 2
THTRS: 3,563
Thor: The Dark World $2,700,000 Total: $198,125,000 LW: 4
THTRS: 2,264
Out of the Furnace $2,320,000 Total: $9,468,000 LW: 3
THTRS: 2,101
Delivery Man $1,872,000 Total: $27,995,000 LW: 5
THTRS: 2,041
Philomena $1,756,000 Total: $11,019,000 LW: 9
THTRS: 835
The Book Thief $1,675,000 Total: $14,877,000 LW: 7
THTRS: 1,158
Homefront $1,637,000 Total: $18,438,000 LW: 6
THTRS: 2,103

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