‘Anchorman 2’ Tunes In $5.1M at Thursday Box Office, Now on Pace for $40M-Plus 5-Day

“The Hobbit” nears $100 million domestically

Ron Burgundy’s salon quality hair was a powerful attraction to moviegoers, as “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” picked up $5.1 million on Thursday, according to studio estimates.

The Paramount Pictures  release is playing at 3,450 locations and has so far earned $13.2 million since opening on Wednesday. It is expected to debut to over $40 million this week, less than some analysts had initially predicted.

The film has earned solid notices from critics — it’s 74 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, though our critic was not a fan — and finds Will Ferrell‘s clueless and womanizing newsreader adjusting to the 1980s.

Also read: ‘Anchorman 2': How Paramount Pulled Off Ron Burgundy’s Resurrection (Video)

The cable news spoof is up against stiff competition in the form of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Peter Jackson’s fantasy sequel earned $5 million on Thursday. Its domestic total now stands at $96 million.  “The Hobbit” follow-up is expected to generate more than $30 million in domestic ticket sales.

Also opening this weekend is Fox’s CGI-live-action hybrid kids film “Walking With Dinosaurs,” which will premiere at 3,231 locations.

Also read: ‘American Hustle’ and ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Face Mainstream Box-Office Exams This Weekend

In addition, David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” expands to roughly 2,500 locations armed with critical plaudits and a sterling limited release opening last weekend; and Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks” is also going wide.