NEW YORK (TheBlaze/AP) — The long march to the Lonely Mountain ended with a bang, not a whimper — but it was a smaller bang than the bang that ended the march to Mordor.
Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" finale went out on top at the box office, debuting with $56.2 million over the weekend and taking in $90.6 million since opening Wednesday, according to studio estimates Sunday.
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" cut its usual swath through the multiplexes, dominating the pre-Christmas frame.
The film was one of the season's biggest releases, but it had the weakest opening of Jackson's six J.R.R. Tolkien adventures.
The finale of Jackson's first Tolkien trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," took in more than $72 million its opening weekend in 2003.
Jackson's "Hobbit" trilogy has been roundly criticized for being too long.
The adaption of Tolkien's slim volume "The Hobbit" was originally slated to be a two-part series, but was expanded to a three-part film saga.
"The Lord of the Rings" had three or six books, depending on how you count them, as source material.
Opening in a distant second place this weekend was "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb," another final installment. The Fox comedy took in $17.3 million, well off the pace of previous franchise entries.
Sony, which is reeling from its cancellation of "The Interview" amid hacking attacks, unveiled its other holiday option. The studio's "Annie" remake opened with $16.3 million.
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