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Andy Lau
Reel China: 'Smaug' smokes box office; Oscar films in short supply
Reel China: 'Smaug' smokes box office; Oscar films in short supply

BEIJING -- Smog seems to have helped Smaug at the Chinese box office this last weekend. "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug," raked in about $33.7 million from Friday to Sunday, consulting firm Artisan Gateway said Tuesday, putting it in first place. Intense air pollution covering much of northern China may have helped drive patrons to theaters, as the government advised people to limit outdoor activities. "Smaug" far outperformed the opening weekend of director Peter Jackson’s first installment in the Warner Bros. franchise, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." When it was released in Beijing in February 2013, the initial film in the J.R.R. Tolkien...

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