There was no doubt that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey would top US the box office in its first weekend of release. The only real question was how big it would be. The film has taken $84.7 million in its first three days, which is a record for a December weekend, beating out the opening of I Am Legend, which took $77.2 million back in 2007.
Despite this, some are still seeing The Hobbit as an underperformer, simply because many thought it should have cracked $100 million. However December is an unusual month as while most of the year you have to get what you can in the first few days and then hope the drop off is slow, the festive season tends to give movies longer legs than they’d usually have, and so The Hobbit is likely to continue to find audiences through the New Year, especially as it’s getting strong word of mouth.
As for whether the higher frame rate screenings have made a difference, Warner hasn’t released a breakdown, although 49% of tickets were sold across all the 3D playdates, and IMAX has reported a significantly higher per screen average for venues showing the movie at 48fps. Anecdotal evidence suggests there’s still confusion over the format, and that some people are being put off by bad notices given to HFR and are assuming all screenings are in that format, while others apparently don’t realise HFR is also in 3D.
Take a look below for the US box office top 10 for the weekend of December 14th-16th.
|Rank||Title||Weekend Gross (millions)||Total Gross to date (millions)|
|1||The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey||$84.7||$84.7|
|2||Rise Of The Guardians||$7.4||$71.3|
|5||Life Of Pi||$5.4||$69.5|
|6||The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2||$5.1||$276.8|
|8||Playing For Keeps||$3.2||$10.8|
|10||Silver Linings Playbook||$2.0||$16.9|