The third and final Hobbit film came out swinging and victorious.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies easily strode to the top of the weekend box office in its opening weekend with $56.2 million, according to studio estimates. It brought the box office total to $90 million since it opened in theaters on Wednesday.

The Peter Jackson-directed film only had its franchise predecessors for true competition. 2013’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug had a $73.6 million three-day opening weekend last December, according to Rentrak.

The first in the franchise, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, opened with $84.6 million in December 2012.

“This weekend marks the triumphant beginning to the end to this incredible franchise, which has been so consistent for over a decade since Lord of the Rings,” says Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for Rentrak. “It’s rare to see this kind of audience excitement, which has not diminished one bit.”

The film received a mixed reaction by critics (60% approval on and scored an A-minus with audiences on CinemaScore… see more

source: usatoday