Box office: ‘Frozen’ slides past ‘Hobbit’ on Friday for top spot

“Frozen” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” continue to slug it out at the box office, with the animated Disney film eking out a small victory on Friday night. The two will be neck-and-neck all weekend, with “Smaug” likely pulling ahead by Sunday. 

“Frozen” scored $10.3 million on Friday and is expected to earn around $28 million this weekend, which would make it the second-highest grossing after 2009’s “Avatar” ($34.9 million). So far, “Frozen” has earned a huge $229.8 million domestically.

“Desolation of Smaug,” however, will likely maintain the box office crown for the weekend, after earning $10.1 million on Friday for second place. The second part of the second big screen Tolkien trilogy will likely earn $30 million for the weekend. Its domestic total stands at $170.6 million, while worldwide, it has already crossed the $500 million mark. 

Paramount’s comedy sequel “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” came in third, grossing $7.1 on Friday, and should pick up $21 million or so for the weekend.

“American Hustle” walked away with another $6.4 million for fourth place on Friday. The all-star film –starring Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams — has so far hustled up $46.8 million domestically. 

In a close fifth place finish, Martin Scorsese’s epic “Wolf of Wall Street” picked up $6.2 million, bringing its total to  $22 million.

Some studios got lumps of coal for Christmas, however, as several wide release continue to struggle in the crowded marketplace.

Universal’s still-born “47 Ronin” finished at No. 8 on Friday with just $3.4 million. The Keanu Reeves samurai film will likely only earn $10 million for the weekend and $21 million for the five-day frame (it opened on December 25). “Ronin” will reportedly lose some $175 million for the studio and co-financiers.

“Grudge Match” is also having a hard time landing a punch. The Sylvester Stallone-Robert De Niro boxing film finished outside of the top ten, with $2.4 million. The film has totaled $8.5 million domestically.

Finally, the Justin Bieber concert documentary “Believe” has little to celebrate. The film brought in $775,000 at No. 14, bringing its five-day debut to $4.5 million. His last doc, “Never Say Never,” debuted to a massive $29.5 million, but had a wider opening than the new film.