Entertainment & Arts

Hobbit sequel and Disney's Frozen see off Bieber documentary

Justin Bieber (r) next to images from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Frozen
Image caption Bieber (r) posed little challenge to The Desolation of Smaug (l) and Frozen

Cinema audiences in the UK and Ireland spent the last weekend of 2013 watching the latest Hobbit film - but not pop star Justin Bieber's new documentary.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug retained the top spot on the UK box office chart, with Frozen climbing one position to claim second place.

The latter is now the most successful Disney animation in the UK, having made around £25m from four weeks on release.

Bieber's Believe has fared far worse, though, charting in a lowly 14th place.

Released on Boxing Day, the film - described as "endlessly self-promotional and insular" by the Hollywood Reporter - made just £205,242 in its first four days in UK and Ireland cinemas.

Its release coincided with tweets from Bieber in which he appeared to suggest he was contemplating early retirement, though recent posts have struck a more positive note.

In 2011, his previous documentary Never Say Never entered the UK chart at nine with takings of just over £800,000.

The Hobbit sequel's third weekend takings of £5.45m saw the latest JRR Tolkien-inspired blockbuster cross the £29m mark in the UK and Ireland.

The film has spent the same number of weeks at the top of the North American box office chart and has now made more than $625m (£377.7m) worldwide.

Earlier this week, Variety reported that the first instalment in Peter Jackson's Hobbit saga was the most-pirated film on BitTorrent networks in 2013.

It said The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was downloaded an estimated 8.4 million times during the last 12 months, according to torrent news site TorrentFreak.

The Disney studio announced on New Year's Eve that Frozen, its musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, had made £24.92m after four weeks at UK and Irish cinemas.

The total, it said, put the Golden Globe-nominated film ahead of the UK and Ireland takings of 2013's Wreck-It Ralph and the original 1994 release of The Lion King.

Frozen's climb up the UK box office chart came at the expense of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which fell one place to two on its second weekend in cinemas.

The Will Ferrell comedy, a follow-up to 2004's broadcasting satire Anchorman, made £2.56m between 27 and 29 December.

Image caption 47 Ronin is based on a Japanese fable about a group of rogue samurai

The last UK top five of 2013 was rounded out by two new entries: Ben Stiller comedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Keanu Reeves action movie 47 Ronin.

Stiller's film about an adventure-seeking fantasist took £2.23m between Boxing Day and 29 December, while Reeves' samurai drama made £1.41m over the same period.

47 Ronin, about a group of disgraced Japanese swordsmen, is considered one of 2013's biggest box office disappointments, having recouped barely a quarter of its estimated $175m (£105.7m) budget.

Robert Redford's seafaring drama All is Lost opened just outside the Top 10, claiming 11th place with an opening weekend tally of £231,595.

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