Box Office: ‘Hobbit 3’ no. 1 again Friday as ‘Woman in Black 2’ surprises

Middle Earth fans continued to catch the finale of “The Hobbit” trilogy as “Battle of the Five Armies” once again took the top spot at the box office Friday.  The bigger story, however, was the performance of the movies fighting it out for no. 2 through no. 5.

Let's start at the top first, shall we?  Warner Bros.' third “Hobbit” remained at no. 1 and took in another $8.3 million for $207 million to date.  Globally, “The Hobbit” has reached over $665 million and could easily earn $1 billion by the time its theatrical run in said and done.

This weekend's sole new wide release entry, “Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death,” was the big surprise on Friday.  The sequel to 2012's “Woman in Black” pulled in $7.7 million and is on pace for a $16-17 million weekend.  Considering Relativity paid approximately $1 million for U.S. distribution rights it's obviously turning into a very Happy New Year for the indie studio.

Not far behind “Woman in Black 2” in the third spot was Walt Disney's adaptation of the Broadway musical “Into the Woods.”  The Rob Marshall extravaganza took in $7.45 million and $79.6 million in just nine days.  At this point “Woods” is expected to surpassing the $148.9 million another movie musical,  “Les Miserables,” earned debuting during the same holiday period in 2012.

Barely coming in fourth – and we mean barely – was Angelina Jolie's epic hit “Unbroken.”  The biopic earned $7.4 million for $76.8 million cume since Christmas.  

Continuing to find family film dollars in fifth was “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” with another $5.9 million and $81.2 million to date. The third installment in the “Night at the Museum” franchise is now pacing about $26 million behind the last sequel, “Battle of the Smithsonian.”

In limited release, A24's “A Most Violent Year” had a superb start in just 4 theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The mini-major tells HitFix J.C. Chandor's critically acclaimed drama is on track to average $50,000 per screen for the current three-day weekend and $80,000 per screen since opening on New Year's Eve.  That would make it the fifth best indie opening of 2014 (it still counts) after “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Birdman,” “Boyhood” and “The Imitation Game.”

Look for complete weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.