The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug had an impressive opening at the box office this weekend, but still fell short of the original film's debut.

The Peter Jackson-helmed sequel earned $73.7 million, which is the fourth-highest December opening of all time, Box Office Mojo reports. (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey holds the record for best December debut with $84.6 million.)

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Last week's No. 1 film, Disney's Frozen, slipped a spot to No. 2 with $22.2 million in its fourth week in theaters.

Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas landed at No. 3 with $16 million. That's the lowest opening ever for a Madea film, and the third lowest opening for a Tyler Perry movie.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire dropped to fourth place with $13.1 million, while Thor: The Dark World came in at No. 5 with $2.7 million.