The Hobbit Sets New December Opening Weekend Record

New Line Cinema and MGM’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey kicked off the holiday season with an estimated $84.8 million, a new December opening weekend record, surpassing the $77.2 million earned by Will Smith-starrer I Am Legend the same weekend in 2007. The Peter Jackson film debuted in 4,045 theaters in which it averaged a strong $20,958 per location.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey received an A CinemaScore from moviegoers which should help with word-of-mouth through the holidays. 58% of the audience was over the ages of 25 and males made up 57% of the audience.

$10.1 million of the domestic total came from the 326 IMAX theaters the film opened in this weekend. That’s an average of $31,000 per screen. Internationally, the picture broke an IMAX December record grossing $5 million in 126 IMAX locations (an average of $40,000). The IMAX locations which showed the film in 48 fps were quite strong, generating $44,000 per screen domestically and $57,000 per screen internationally. IMAX’s global weekend total for “The Hobbit” is an estimated $15+ million, which is a record for December.

Dropping from first place to fourth, Sony and MGM’s Skyfall added $7 million domestically for a total of $272.4 million after six weeks. Internationally, the 23rd James Bond film grossed an estimated $12.2 million this weekend, bringing the overseas total to $678.7 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $951 million to date.

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