Weekend Box Office: ‘Hobbit’ Breaks Records, Still Disappoints

The latest James Bond and ‘Twilight’ flicks that have dominated the box office in recent weeks were finally uprooted by a newcomer. After last week’s slump, the box office has bounced back with a new record.

Thanks to the help of 3D, IMAX and a popular franchise, the month of December has a new all-time highest opening with ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘. The film’s $84.8 million premiere dethroned the previous record-holder, 2007’s ‘I Am Legend‘ ($77.2 million). $84.8 million may be the ‘Lord of the Rings’ franchise’s best debut, but in terms of raw attendance, it comes in third place for the series, just above the first film, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’. 49% of ‘Hobbit’ ticket sales came from 3D showings and 12% came from IMAX. New Line has yet to announce how well the High Frame Rate screenings performed. Predicted to open with $94.5 million, ‘The Hobbit’ isn’t as much of a success as expected, but it’s a success nonetheless.

Family flick ‘Rise of the Guardians‘ held onto the #2 spot by only dropping 28% in attendance and pulling in another $7.4 million. ‘Lincoln‘ passed the $100 million mark on Thursday and climbed into third place over the weekend with $7.2 million. ‘Skyfall‘ dropped 35% and fell from first to fourth, adding another $7 million to its $272 million six-weekend domestic run. And holding strong in fifth place, once again, was ‘Life of Pi‘, which bought in $5.4 million in its fourth weekend and brought its domestic haul up to $69.5 million.

The only other weekend performance of note was ‘Silver Linings Playbook‘, which didn’t add or lose any screens. (It’s still only showing on 371.) The David O. Russell film climbed back into the Top 10 and managed to only slip 4%, adding another $2 million to its run. The movie is now at $16.9 million. Its $5,617 per-screen average was second-best of the Top 10 – the first, of course, being ‘The Hobbit’ with $20,958.

Of this weekend’s two indie releases, ‘Any Day Now‘ is the only one with reported estimates. On 16 screens, it scored a $41,000 opening. You’ll have to check the actuals when they’re announced later today if you want numbers for ‘Save the Date‘.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ (Warner Bros.) – $84,775,000

2. ‘Rise of the Guardians’ (DreamWorks) – $7,420,000

3. ‘Lincoln’ (Buena Vista) – $7,244,000

4. ‘Skyfall’ (Sony) – $7,000,000

5. ‘Life of Pi’ (Fox) – $5,400,000

6. ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’ (Summit) – $5,175,000

7. ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ (Buena Vista) – $3,273,000

8. ‘Playing for Keeps’ (FilmDistrict) – $3,247,000

9. ‘Red Dawn’ (FilmDistrict) – $2,394,000

10. ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (Weinstein) – $2,084,000


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