A J.R.R. Tolkien dragon will torch the competition as
The 3-D "Hobbit" sequel, starring
The movie, a New Line Cinema,
The first "Hobbit" movie opened with an $84.6-million haul and went on to make $303 million through its run in the U.S. and Canada -- and more than $1 billion worldwide. Not adjusting for inflation, the "Lord of the Rings" triology and "Unexpected Journey" have made more than $3.9 billion.
The new film, part of a triology based on the beloved Tolkien book, follows Baggins and Gandalf as they try to help a group of dwarves retake their homeland from the dragon Smaug, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.
The weekend's first box office runner-up is expected to be the latest comedy from the prolific producer
If the movie's take matches that estimate, it would be in line with or better than the openings for several recent movies featuring the title character. The 2012 film "Tyler Perry's
"A Madea Christmas," which also stars
This weekend will also see limited releases for a couple of highly anticipated movies.
Also opening in a limited number of cinemas is Walt Disney Pictures'
[For the Record: An earlier version of this post misspelled Tyler Perry's name.]
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