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While Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: There And Back Again didn’t reach the $100 million opening some expected, it still easily broke the December box office record, grossing $84.7 million domestically. The film was also a big hit overseas.
The previous December record was held by Will Smith’s I Am Legend, which grossed $77.2 million during its opening weekend in 2007.
The Hobbit, the first in Jackson’s planned trilogy adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, also made more than the final Lord of the Rings film, The Return of the King, made during its first three-day weekend when it grossed $73.3 million. However, Box Office Mojo notes that attendance was actually down from that film, since The Hobbit came with 3D and IMAX premium prices. Its 3D showing made up 49 percent of its business.
While the opening weekend numbers might not have been as big as Warner Bros. hoped, it did earn an A+ CinemaScore grade from audiences.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Hobbit made $138.2 million overseas this weekend, bringing its worldwide total to $223 million.
Holdovers Rise of the Guardians and Lincoln topped the rest of the box office chart, notes Entertainment Weekly. Dreamworks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians added $7.4 million, bringing its total to just $71.4 million.
Lincoln added $7.2 million, while Skyfall came in fourth with another $7 million. Life of Pi made another $5.4 million to round out the Top 5.