Ron Burgundy kept it classy, but Smaug kept it desolate.
The fire-breathing dragon of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug held off Will Ferrell's parody news team from Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, topping the weekend with $31.5 million, according to studio estimates from box office trackers Rentrak.
The second-week haul brought Peter Jackson's fantasy adaptation to $127.5 million and was plenty to repel Anchorman, which fell below estimates and the original's debut in 2004.
Anchorman did $26.8 million, short of its $30 million projections. The film, released Wednesday, has collected $40 million.
The original, which would go on to do $85.3 million and become a video cult hit, opened to $28.4 million.
Still, Anchorman is hardly off the air. Live-action comedy sequels are notoriously tough, and the film drew an approval rating of 76% from critics and 72% from audiences, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Disney's animated Frozen was third with $19.2 million.
The Oscar hopeful American Hustle was fourth with $19.1 million in its first weekend in nationwide release, a strong showing.
Tom Hanks' Saving Mr. Banks was fifth with $9.3 million, meeting most expectations.
Final figures are due Monday.