Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:25 pm
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has topped the UK box office on its debut weekend on release.
The sequel, starring Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sir Ian McKellen, earned £9.3 million to top the chart ahead of Frozen.
Desolation of Smaug's opening haul falls just short of the £11.6 million made by its predecessor, An Unexpected Journey, last December.
Frozen slips down to second place, but still managed to earn £4.2 million after experiencing a small 11% dip in ticket sales.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is at number three, while Gravity and Saving Mr Banks round out the top five.
The only other new entry into the chart is the Met Opera's performance of Falstaff, which debuted at number six after screening in 165 locations nationwide.
The UK box office top ten in full:
1. (-) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - £9,325,626
2. (1) Frozen - £4,212,920
3. (2) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - £1,368,662
4. (3) Gravity - £592,321
5. (4) Saving Mr Banks - £359,134
6. (-) Falstaff - Met Opera 2013 - £224,763
7. (5) Homefront - £202,518
8. (6) Free Birds - £191,656
9. (8) The Butler - £144,573
10. (7) Carrie - £118,097