NEW YORK — Hollywood kicked off the New Year on a positive note, with three films vying closely for the weekend box-office title that nevertheless remained with “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” for the third straight week.

Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth finale took in $21.9 million for Warner Bros., according to studio estimates Sunday, narrowly edging out the Disney musical “Into the Woods” ($19.1 million) and Angelina Jolie’s World War II tale “Unbroken” ($18.4 million).

The weekend’s lone new wide-release, the Relativity horror sequel “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death,” landed in fourth place with $15.1 million.

The first weekend of 2015 gave Hollywood the chance to begin turning the page on a rough 2014 in which box-office revenue slid 5 percent and attendance dropped to its lowest level in nearly 20 years.

With a closely contested weekend at the multiplexes, overall business was strong, up 5.5 percent from the same weekend last year, according to box-office firm Rentrak.

In its second week of limited release, Sony Pictures’ “The Interview” earned an estimated $1.1 million theatrically.

In its first four days of online streaming and sale, the comedy made $15 million, Sony said last week.

Since then, the film has expanded to video-on-demand via cable operators and on more digital platforms like Apple’s iTunes.

Several Oscar contenders began to attract larger numbers of moviegoers, as Hollywood’s awards season picks up stream. The Golden Globes are next Sunday.