The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey broke records, but did not hit the mark that box office watchers expected it to. It stormed its way into theaters for its premiere weekend and banked $84 million. How does a film earn that much and is still considered a weaker opening than expected? The first chapter of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy easily broke the previous holder of the highest grossing December weekend record -- I am Legend. Back in 2007, that Will Smith starring movie earned $77 million in its opening weekend.
The issue is that pundits thought The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey would topple $100 million in its first weekend. After the anticipation that had built up over the years since Return of the King ruled the world, surely that marker could have been attainable. And one could argue that less people saw the film than the numbers suggest due to the increased ticket prices for IMAX and 3D.
Family film Rise of the Guardians managed to land in second place with $7.4 in its fourth week of release, probably due to the lack of a true family film out there. The announcement of the Golden Globe nominations and how Lincoln grabbed seven probably helped its weekend box office, as it landed in third adding another $7.2 million to its $107.9 million total.
Fourth place featured last week's number one, Skyfall. The latest edition of the 007 saga earned $7 million, bringing its total to an astonishing $272.4 million. Closing out the top five is the slowly-building success of Life of Pi. Ang Lee's 3D epic, perhaps also buoyed by Golden Globe nods, banked $5.4 million in its fourth week of release.
Box office Top 10:
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, $84.8 million
2. Rise of the Guardians, $7.4 million
3. Lincoln, $7.2 million
4. Skyfall, $7 million
5. Life of Pi, $5.4 million
6. Breaking Dawn Part 2, $5.1 million
7. Wreck-It Ralph, $3.3 million
8. Playing for Keeps, $3.2 million
9. Red Dawn, $2.4 million
10. Silver Linings Playbook, $2.1 million