Weekend Box Office: ‘The Hobbit’ Earns Record-Setting December Haul

By Staff  |  12/17/2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

It was easy, being there wasn't any other new releases, but Peter Jackson's The Hobbit led the box office over the weekend with $84.8 million... and it was record-breaking.

The number was a record-setting opening, better than the three previous Lord of the Rings films. It was the biggest December opening ever, surpassing Will Smith's I Am Legend, which opened with $77.2 million in 2007.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey also passed the December opening of Avatar, which opened with $77 million. In it, Hobbit sets out on a "unexpected journey" to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of Dwarves to reclaim a their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug. The film is the first of another planned trilogy, with two more films to be squeezed out of Tolkien's book.

Rise Of The Guardians stays put at #2 with $7.1 million; Lincoln climbed to #3 with just over $7 million; Skyfall falls to #4 after sitting at #1 last week, adding $6.5 million; and Life of Pi holds at #5 with $5.4 million.

That's a wrap for this weekend. This upcoming week, look out for the releases of the Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogan comedy, The Guilt Trip; Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher; Paul Rudd's comedy This Is 40; and the 3D re-release of Pixar's Monsters, Inc..

This weekend's top 10 is as follows:

1. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," $84.8 million.
2. "Rise of the Guardians," $7.4 million.
3. "Lincoln," $7.2 million.
4. "Skyfall," $7 million.
5. "Life of Pi," $5.4 million.
6. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2," $5.2 million.
7. "Wreck-It Ralph," $3.3million.
8. "Playing for Keeps," $3.2 million.
9. "Red Dawn," $2.4 million.
10. "Silver Linings Playbook," $2 million.