Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, the first of a new trilogy that marks the director’s return to J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional Middle Earth, took #1 at the box office with an estimated $84 million domestically, and $222 million worldwide. I bet you didn’t see that coming, huh? Okay, so you probably saw that coming. Like, from a mile away. Or at least two miles.
Along the way, the fantasy adventure set a new December record, besting the previous record holder, Will Smith’s “I am Legend” by a good $7 million. Despite the #1 status and big opening, though, industry insiders were predicting something closer to the $100 million mark, and some were even predicting more than that. And while it exceeded the box office of “I am Legend” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”, the last time Jackson was in theaters with a Middle Earth epic, “The Hobbit” did so with fewer tickets sold, thanks to higher ticket prices, 3D, and IMAX screenings this time around.
Every other studio wisely stayed clear of “The Hobbit”, with only indie drama “Any Day Now” (starring Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt) opening in limited release. Needless to say, it didn’t really have much of an impact on “The Hobbit’s” earnings.
Last week’s #1, “Skyfall” fell to fourth place, while last week’s #2, the CG animated “Rise of the Guardians” maintained its hold for the second straight week. The film has earned $71 million so far domestically and $190 million worldwide. When all is said and done, “Rise of the Guardians” might actually end up turning a profit, despite a bloated $145 million production budget. Kid movies usually do well on DVD, though I bet the studio is wishing it could have released the Christmas-themed fantasy on DVD/Blu-ray for the Christmas shopping season.
“Lincoln” and “Life of Pi” round out the Top 5, with “Lincoln” at #3 and “Life of Pi” at #5.
Via : Box Office Mojo