Celebrity director Quentin Tarantino's new film, Django Unchained, made a splashy debut -- but only strong enough to take the No. 2 position at the box office this past weekend. The movie, which is distributed by the privately held Weinstein Company, brought in slightly less than $31 million in its freshman weekend, according to data compiled by Box Office Mojo.

Defeating Django to take No. 1 was the durable fantasy adaptation The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Now the leader for the third week in a row, the epic film sold nearly $33 million worth of tickets, said Box Office Mojo. It has now grossed more than $222 million domestically and $464 million abroad. It is distributed by Time Warner unit Warner Bros.

Taking third place this past weekend was another adaptation, the musical version of the classic drama Les Miserables. The movie made $28 million  to cap 2012 pleasantly for distributor Universal, a subsidiary of General Electric and Comcast's NBC Universal.

The article "The Hobbit" Beats Tarantino at the Box Office originally appeared on Fool.com.

Eric Volkman has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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