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Weekend Box Office: December 14-16, 2012

Dec. 16, 2012by: Dave Davis
100%

Shire Power!

Nine years after RETURN OF THE KING brought the epic Tolkien trilogy to a close, filmmaker Peter Jackson has made a triumphant return to Middle Earth with THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY.

The beginning of Bilbo Baggins' grand adventure heartily consumed $84.7 million over its opening weekend -- a greater sum than any of the original LORD OF THE RINGS movies (FELLOWSHIP started with $47.2M, THE TWO TOWERS with $62M, and $72.6M for ROTK). Then again, none of those (similarly lengthy) movies had the benefit of "premium" pricing...

A substantial $13 million of that total came from the midnight showings on Friday, helping feed the biggest December Friday total ever. This new trilogy-starter, which was made available in a variety of formats on more than 4000 screens, also set a record for biggest December weekend and was graded a coveted 'A' CinemaScore from audiences.

(Judging by the results of last weekend's poll, it appears that some JoBlo.com readers figured on an even larger opening for Bilbo & Co.)

The remaining movies on the chart had to battle for whatever scraps weren't swallowed by dwarves and halflings. RISE OF THE GUARDIANS held onto its second place spot from last weekend, obviously still taking advantage of being the only holiday-themed movie in wide release. Steven Spielberg's LINCOLN stretched past the $100 million mark this week, but last week's winner SKYFALL slipped to fourth.

While Ang Lee's LIFE OF PI continues to drift in fifth (the same space it has held since its initial release four weeks ago), THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN (PART 2) is losing its bite and has dropped to sixth. The ending of that franchise still trails BREAKING DAWN (PART 1), NEW MOON and ECLIPSE as far as domestic total, but it easily has the biggest worldwide amount with $759.3 million (the entire series has made over $3 billion globally).

After seven weeks, WRECK-IT RALPH continues to delight kids and videogame fans (and has finally made back its reported $165M cost), putting it ahead of the RED DAWN remake and the Gerard Butler romcom dud PLAYING FOR KEEPS. Meanwhile, FLIGHT got bumped as SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK once again pokes its bipolar head onto the chart in tenth, now at a $16.9M total and still on just 371 screens.

Next weekend brings a number of challengers to THE HOBBIT, including fellow diminutive hero Tom Cruise in the action-thriller JACK REACHER, Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand in the comedy THE GUILT TRIP (on Wed.), Pixar's Mike and Sully in the 3D reissue of MONSTERS, INC. (also on Wed.), the Judd Apatow gang reunion in THIS IS 40, and vibrant acrobats and contortionists in CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAY.

In addition, next week sees limited releases of the tsunami drama THE IMPOSSIBLE, the Kerouac adaptation ON THE ROAD, 'The Sopranos' creator David Chase's NOT FADE AWAY, the French tearjerker AMOUR, and Kathryn Bigelow's anticipated bin Laden hunt ZERO DARK THIRTY.

What format of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY did you see this weekend? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $84.7 M
NEW
2. Rise of the Guardians $7.4 M $71.3 M
3. Lincoln $7.2 M $107.8 M
4. Skyfall $7 M $272.3 M
5. Life of Pi $5.4 M $69.5 M
6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 2) $5.1 M $276.8 M
7. Wreck-It Ralph $3.2 M $168.7 M
8. Playing for Keeps $3.2 M $10.8 M
9. Red Dawn $2.3 M $40.8 M
10. Silver Linings Playbook $2 M $16.9 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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7:41PM on 12/17/2012
I'm dying to see it again!!!
I'm dying to see it again!!!
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+4
8:03AM on 12/17/2012
Loved loved loved The Hobbit and yet to find anyone that didnt like it. I had no problem with the pacing and the length, by the time the credits started I was disappointed cause i wanted to sit there for another 3 hours watching it.
Loved loved loved The Hobbit and yet to find anyone that didnt like it. I had no problem with the pacing and the length, by the time the credits started I was disappointed cause i wanted to sit there for another 3 hours watching it.
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+16
9:42PM on 12/16/2012

9 years since Return of the King?!

Geezus I feel old
Geezus I feel old
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7:45PM on 12/16/2012

triple

why is this happening to meeeeeee.........
why is this happening to meeeeeee.........
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7:44PM on 12/16/2012

double post

...
...
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6:37PM on 12/16/2012
Happy to see the Hobbit earn some respectable coin. Haven't seen it yet due to work but will be seeing it very soon. Really hope this series is successful enough to encourage studios to make more epic Fantasy flicks. I'd love to see The Icewind Dale Trilogy get the same treatment. I know it'll probably never happen but I can dream cant I!!
Happy to see the Hobbit earn some respectable coin. Haven't seen it yet due to work but will be seeing it very soon. Really hope this series is successful enough to encourage studios to make more epic Fantasy flicks. I'd love to see The Icewind Dale Trilogy get the same treatment. I know it'll probably never happen but I can dream cant I!!
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+13
3:35PM on 12/16/2012

Rise of the Guardians!

so awesome to see it still raking in some dough and staying in the top 2. Very cool, it totally deserves it! Maybe there is a hope for a sequel yet... god knows this is one animated movie that truly deserves it! Well worth seeing in the theatre people, especially in 3D (the best I've ever seen, better than Avatar, better than Hugo even I think) and just a great movie all around. Lookin forward to seeing Hobbit this week!
so awesome to see it still raking in some dough and staying in the top 2. Very cool, it totally deserves it! Maybe there is a hope for a sequel yet... god knows this is one animated movie that truly deserves it! Well worth seeing in the theatre people, especially in 3D (the best I've ever seen, better than Avatar, better than Hugo even I think) and just a great movie all around. Lookin forward to seeing Hobbit this week!
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