It's Friday the 13th, but it's a lucky day for "Lord of the Rings" fans.
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," the second of three chapters of Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, arrives with plenty of rousing action, some dramatic intrigue, and a nail-biter of a finish setting things up for the third installment. Most importantly, though, it's got a dragon — a fire-breathing, gold-hording, urbane-talking (with the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch) beastie who's perfectly realized on screen. It takes a while for Jackson to get to Smaug, but the monster makes it worth the weight.
The other studios are smart enough to steer clear of the dragon — except for Lionsgate, which is opening Tyler Perry's latest, "A Madea Christmas" (which was not screened for critics).