18 December 2013 9:57 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Peter Jackson's second Hobbit outing hairily hotfoots it to the top, while Frozen does well enough to be solid until January

• Us box office: The Hobbit leaves Frozen out in the cold

• The Hobbit – interviews with Martin Freeman, Evangeline Lilly and Benedict Cumberbatch

The winner

Exactly a year ago, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened in the UK with £9.51m, plus £2.1m in previews. Many critics carped that the film didn't live up to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and sounded a note of scepticism over the innovative 48 frames-per-second projection. Still, audiences continued to embrace the film, and a final gross of £52.33m represented a healthy 5.5 multiple of the opening number – a relatively high ratio for a Hollywood blockbuster.

Now sequel The Desolation of Smaug arrives with a very similar £9.32m, slightly down on the original. A better Metacritic score of 66/100 (as opposed to 58/100 for Unexpected »

- Charles Gant

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