BOX OFFICE

Bilbo Baggins isn't the only one traipsing about in a Scrooge McDuck-style pile of gold this weekend.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened in first place, ranking fourth on the list of all-time biggest debuts in the month of December.

During the record-setting Thanksgiving frame, the latest feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Frozen, made a boatload but still fell behind the commercial juggernaut that is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

This weekend, though, Frozen and Panem's finest managed to switch positions, jumping up to number one.

Between forkloads of turkey, spoonfuls of mashed potatoes, and obscene discount shopping, America took to the multiplex this weekend, propelling both The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Disney's Frozen to break longstanding holiday records.

Thanks largely to these two blockbusters, Thanksgiving 2013 turned out to be the biggest Turkey Day frame in history.

It's convenient that the Hunger Games sequel is entitled Catching Fire, because that's exactly what the film did this weekend.

According to estimates, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire entered the record books, notching up the biggest November opening and one of the highest-grossing debuts of all time.

The God of Thunder surprised absolutely no one by repeating his first place performance at the domestic box office.  The surprise here was not Thor: The Dark World, but The Best Man Holiday, a sequel that surpassed every expectation.

The nation took a trip to Asgard this weekend, propelling Thor: The Dark World to a big debut at number, continuing the Marvel Studios hot streak and ensuring continued adventures for the God of Thunder.

Authorial controversy and the fact that it's directed by the guy behind that abominable Wolverine origin movie didn't stop Ender's Game from taking the biggest slice of the box office pie this weekend.

The other two new wide releases, Last Vegas and Free Birds, also enjoyed solid debuts at the domestic box office, while the latest from Marvel Studios collected a whole lot of coin in foreign territories.

Johnny Knoxville – man who has been shot while wearing a bulletproof vest and knocked in the crotch innumerable times while wearing no protection – emerged atop the box office heap this weekend.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, which buries Knoxville under a whole lot of makeup, knocked Gravity from its pedestal, taking the number one position and knocking Alfonso Cuaron's 3D thriller into second place after three consecutive weeks outgrossing all comers.

Knock-knock.

"Who's there?"

Gravity.

"Gravity the number one movie in America for the third consecutive weekend?  The Alfonso Cuaron movie that held off newcomers like Carrie, Escape Plan, and The Fifth Estate and is now basically a legitimate phenomenon?"

Audiences divided their time between outer space and the high seas this weekend.  Both Gravity and Captain Phillips did gangbusters business in theaters, while action-comedy Machete Kills opened to tumbleweeds.

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