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'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' wins the box office, but which movie do critics recommend?

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(Read caption) 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' stars Martin Freeman (l.).

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Hobbits and dwarves dominated the box office once again this past weekend, with the (presumably) final film in the “Hobbit” trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” winning the box office for the third straight week.

The third “Hobbit” movie, which was first released on Dec. 17, was battling with fellow box office stalwarts “Into the Woods,” the fairy tale musical adaptation that was released on Dec. 25, and “Unbroken,” the adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s nonfiction book. "Unbroken" was directed by Angelina Jolie and also came out on Christmas Day.

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According to the Associated Press, “Hobbit” grossed more than $21 million this past weekend, while “Woods” came in at second place with more than $19 million and “Unbroken” grossed more than $18 million. Meanwhile, the horror sequel “The Woman in Black 2” took in more than $15 million.

However, “Woods” has been the best-reviewed of the bunch. “Armies” has a score of 59 out of 100 on the review aggregator website Metacritic, while “Unbroken” has exactly the same score and “Black” only holds a score of 42. “Woods,” by contrast, currently has a score of 70.

According to the website Box Office Mojo, “Armies” has taken in more than the second “Hobbit” film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” had in the same time period (19 days). “Armies” has grossed more than $220 million, while “Smaug” took in more than $201 million over that time.

Out of the three “Hobbit” films, “Armies” is currently in the middle of the pack in terms of critical reception. According to Metacritic, its 59 score is better than the first “Hobbit” film, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” but not as good as the score held by “Smaug.”

The film “Taken 3,” an action movie starring Liam Neeson, opens this weekend, but the weekend is otherwise quiet, so “Hobbit” may hold onto its crown a little longer unless the newest "Taken" film proves to be a box office smash.


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