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The Hobbit Sets Record for U.S. Opening

 The Hobbit debuted this weekend in North America and set a new box office record for December earning $84.8 million in the three days The Hobbit debuted this weekend in North America and set a new box office record for December earning $84.8 million in the three days

December 18, 2012 –  The Hobbit debuted this weekend in North America and set a new box office record for December earning $84.8 million in the three days from Friday through Sunday. The movie earned more than the debut in U.S. of The Lord of the Rings that debuted in December of 2003 and earned $72.7 million.

Second place over the weekend was earned by Rise of the Guardians, an animated film for the entire family that earned $7.4 million. Daniel Day-Lewis’ Lincoln took third place over the weekend with $7.2 million. Fourth place went to Skyfall, the latest edition of James Bond, which earned $7 million and fifth place was earned by Life of Pi that took in just over $5.4 million.

The previous high mark for December was in 2007, when I am Legend, which starred Will Smith took in over $77.2 million.

Warner Bros’ theatrical distribution president Dan Fellman said the studio had hoped to reach the $77 million that I am Legend set in 2007 and are very pleased to have passed it by over $7 million. He said the first full week of the movie’s release should bring in over $110 million for the studio.

The Hobbit’s earnings were helped thanks to preview screenings that were on both Wednesday and Thursday as well as different screening formats like Imax and 3D, which have ticket prices that are higher.

Internationally, the movie earned over $138 million in just its first 5 full days of release in 56 markets. That makes the worldwide box office sales for the movie $223 million through Sunday. A new record was set for Imax theaters across the globe as it earned over $15.1 million said Warner Bros.

The Hobbit stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and follows Baggins’ journey and is the first of what will be three films in all based on JRR Tolkien’s classic novel of 1937.

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