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Tolkien epic "The Hobbit" weaved its magic at the North American box office this weekend, signaling a farewell to the blockbuster fantasy franchise, industry estimates showed Sunday. The last of six films adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's books by Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" took $56.2 million in its debut weekend in the United States and Canada, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations. The success of "The Hobbit" flattened the competition in the final weekend before the Christmas holiday period. Second spot went to "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb," the third film in the Ben Stiller family comedy franchise based on the popular 1993 children's book.
Villarreal registered their seventh consecutive win in all competitions to move above Sevilla on goal difference into fifth in La Liga thanks to a 3-0 victory over Deportivo la Coruna on Sunday. Jonathan dos Santos got the hosts off to the perfect start when the on-loan Barcelona midfielder slammed home his first goal for the club. Argentine striker Luciano Vietto then added to his fine debut season in Spain with two simple finishes five minutes apart midway through the second half to make the game safe before the hosts ended with 10 men when substitute Tomas Pina was sent off. Marcelino's men shot themselves back into contention for a return to the Champions League by inflicting Atletico Madrid's first defeat at the Vicente Calderon for 19 months last weekend and were in no mood to lose any ground in the battle for the top four as they flew out of the blocks.