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The Hobbit sees off Jack Reacher and This Is 40 at US box office

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Story by Jack Foley

PETER Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has held firm at the top of the US box office for a second weekend despite competition from a glut of new releases, including Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher and Judd Apatow comedy This Is 40.

The Hobbit, which is playing in a variety of formats, grossed an estimated $36.7 million to bring its US total so far to $149.9 million.

That figure comfortably beat off Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher, which came in second with an estimated $15.6 million, and Judd Apatow’s This Is 40, which debuted in third with $12 million.

Another high profile new release, The Guilt Trip, starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen in a mother-son comedy, lagged behind in sixth spot with just $5.39 million.

Commenting on Jack Reacher‘s opening figure, Megan Colligan, Paramount president of domestic marketing and distribution, said she was pleased with the total and predicted a strong run based on positive word of mouth among older men and teenage boys.

She told The Hollywood Reporter: “I think the movie found a sweet spot. It’s has the action-hero quality that older men love and has a great opportunity to bring in teenage boys as the audience expands.”

Similarly, Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco was predicting a solid run for This Is 40, which performed better than expected.

“I knew if we could get $10 million, and we did better than that, then the box office for the movie would just get better and better after Christmas Day,” she said.

Elsewhere, Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty raked in some impressive numbers despite being released in just five cinemas, doubtless buoyed by both the subject matter (the search for and killing of Osama bin Laden) and the new controversy surrounding it.

And Pixar’s re-issue of 2001 hit Monsters, Inc. in a new 3D version opened to $5 million.

Next story: Iron Man 3 – New image reveals bloodied, beaten Tony Stark