‘The Hobbit’ stays atop box office for third week

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06:17 AM December 31st, 2012

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By: Christy Lemire, December 31st, 2012 06:17 AM

This film image released by Warner Bros., shows Ian McKellen as Gandalf in a scene from the fantasy adventure “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Filmmaker Peter Jackson’s decision to shoot his epic three-part J.R.R. Tolkien prequel in the super-clear format that boosts the number of frames per second to 48 from the current standard, 24, has some unintended consequences. (AP Photo/Warner Bros., James Fisher, File)

LOS ANGELES— “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” continues to rule them all at the box office, staying on top for a third-straight week with nearly $33 million.

The Warner Bros. fantasy epic from director Peter Jackson, based on the J.R.R. Tolkien novel, has made $222.7 million domestically alone.

Two big holiday movies — and potential awards contenders — also had strong openings. Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti Western-blaxploitation mash-up “Django Unchained” came in second place for the weekend with $30.7 million. The Weinstein Co. revenge epic, starring Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz, has earned $64 million since its Christmas Day opening.

And in third place with $28 million was the sweeping, all-singing “Les Miserables.” The Universal Pictures musical starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway has made $67.5 million since debuting on Christmas.

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