'The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug' as predicted dominates the North American box office on opening weekend with garnering an impressive $73.7 million from ticket sales. The epic sequel melted Disney's latest animation, 'Frozen', off the top spot as it earned $22.2 in its third weekend, bringing its overall domestic ticket total to $164.4 million.

Martin Freeman
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'

'Smaug' received the fourth biggest December opening ever, coming behind 'Avatar' ($77 million), 'I Am Legend' ($77.2 million) and 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' ($84.6 million).

As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the new instalment is down 13% from the first film in 'The Hobbit' trilogy but that is likely due to stronger competition at the box office with 'Frozen' and 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' still remaining cinemagoers favourites.

Plus a major storm on the east coast of American will have played a part in cinemas being less busy than usual.

Watch 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' trailer here

The sequel depicts 'Bilbo Baggins' (Martin Freeman) travelling with a group of dwarfs as their 'burglar' to aid them in entering the lonely mountain, where the dwarfs will face off against 'dragon Smaug' (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).

Joining the current cast is Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom who reprises his role as 'Legolas' from 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, Lee Pace and Luke Evans.

See next page for the rest of this weekends box office results