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Box office: 'Hobbit' finale tops 'Into the Woods' on New Year's Day

Box office: 'Hobbit' finale tops 'Into the Woods' on New Year's Day
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Associated Press)

The final installment of the "Hobbit" trilogy held off fellow holdovers "Into the Woods" and "Unbroken" to top the box office on New Year's Day.

Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" pulled in a robust $9.3 million in U.S. and Canada ticket sales on Thursday, according to studio estimates, bringing its domestic total to $198.9 million. 

The Thursday number follows a take of $6 million on New Year's Eve.

Disney's Stephen Sondheim adaptation "Into the Woods" landed in second place on Jan. 1 with an estimated $8.1 million. That lifts its U.S.-Canada total to $72.2 million in ticket sales so far.

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Meanwhile, Universal's Angelina Jolie-directed World War II saga "Unbroken" landed $6.9 million, hitting a cumulative $69.4 million.

The only newcomer hitting movie theaters this weekend is "The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death."

Coming nearly two years after the original, the ghostly sequel debuted at 7 p.m. Thursday. It scored $1.5 million in pre-weekend showings.

Looking ahead, "The Hobbit" is expected to rule the box office for the third weekend in a row with a possible $25 million take. "Into the Woods" and "Unbroken" are expected to generate about $20 million this weekend.

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The "Woman in Black" follow-up is expected to debut with $9 million to $11 million in ticket sales, which is lower than the opening for the original that starred Daniel Radcliffe. Relativity Studios acquired the sequel last year for $1 million.

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Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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