"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" sets the bar high on December box office with its record-breaking opening. The Middle Earth tale shatters this week's competition on the North American box office by scoring $84.6 million, which is the biggest three-day weekend gross ever for a December release.
Overseas, the first chapter of the Peter Jackson-directed fantasy trilogy has already raked in $223 million, beating Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" which collected $125.9 million in 2003. "The Hobbit" breaks the record previously held by Will Smith's "I Am Legend" which debuted to $77.2 million during the first weekend in December 2007.
Receiving a glowing "A" CinemaScore, "The Hobbit" attracts to 58% audience over the age of 25. Around 57% of the ticketbuyers are males. Commenting on the success, Warner Bros. Pictures president of domestic distribution, Dan Fellman, says, "It is great to see Peter's fans return, along with a new generation of that is embracing Middle Earth. We expect a long and exciting run."
Securing the runner-up spot is family film "Rise of the Guardians" which picks up $7.1 million for a total cume of $71.3 million in its fourth week. Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln", meanwhile, enters the third place with $7 million, dropping less than 19% from last week.
After returning to the top spot last week, "Skyfall" falls to the fourth place with an estimated $6.5 million. In its sixth week of playing Stateside, the James Bond movie bags a total gross of $272.3 million. Rounding up the top five is Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" which adds $5.4 million for its $69.5 domestic cume.
Top Ten Movies at Box Office for December 14 - 16: