Opening on over 4,000 screens, The Hobbit laid a much-expected beat down on the competition this weekend, with over $84 million in box office, breaking the record for best December debut in history. WB Studio execs may have had daydream montages of a $100 million plus result (and the resulting Scarface mountains of cocaine and cigar lighting with Benjamins that goes with it), but with this solid result, it's clear the Tolkien gravy train has no plans to slow down. Despite what feels like a million movies coming out in the next few weeks (Django, Les Mis, Zero Dark Thirty, etc), The Hobbit should hold its ground on screens over the holidays. Box Office Mojo suspects that $300 million is doable based on this opening result, which bodes well for the final two films of the trilogy and whatever Tolkien work Peter Jackson can find next.
Not too much else to report for the rest of the Top 10. Coming in at third and fourth place, Lincoln and Skyfall, respectively, continue to chug along nicely, owning the "did you see _________?" small talk title for the 2012 holiday party season.
Top 10 (Weekend US Estimates via Box Office Mojo)
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - $84,775,000
2. Rise of the Guardians - $7,420,000
3. Lincoln - $7,244,000
4. Skyfall - $7,000,000
5. Life of Pi - $5,400,000
6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 - $5,175,000
7. Wreck-It Ralph - $3,273,000
8. Playing for Keeps - $3,247,000
9. Red Dawn - $2,394,000
10. Silver Linings Playbook - $2,084,000
What We Learned
People are generally okay with high frame rates
What's the opposite of anticipation? Dread. It's a feeling that was out there in The Hobbit fan universe leading up to Peter Jackson's experiment in cinema projection. In her Hobbit review, Spacecast's Abelle thought the HFR gave the 3D extra juice, but affected some of the digital effects. Like most new things, there are haters and there are likers (not a lot of lovers), but the general consensus is that it doesn't ruin the overall movie-going experience. Score one for change! It'll be interesting to see if this technology gets picked up again in the near future.
Lincoln: killed, but still killin' it
Yet another solid week for the Golden Globe-nominated Spielberg flick, with over $7 million. Based on the rave reviews and stellar names attached, expect Abe to hang around in the Top 10 for the foreseeable future. There’s still a lot of dad money that has yet to roll in. Dads like to check out movies six to eight weeks after they've been released, and what dad on earth doesn't want to see Lincoln? Why, it's the daddiest movie of the year!
Opening This Weekend (Spoiler Alert: Almost Everything)
This is 40
Zero Dark Thirty
Monsters Inc. 3D (non-48fps)