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December 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

There was nothing unexpected about the box-office triumph of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey over the weekend. Tracking surveys and movie analysts had predicted that it would set a December ticket-sales record, and it did, taking in an estimated $84.8 million and thereby eclipsing the previous December record of $77.2 million set by I Am Legend in 2007. CinemaScore said that the film received an A grade from moviegoers, a far better one than most critics had given it. Some 326 IMAX theaters accounted for $10.1 million of the gross (about 12 percent). There was no immediate break-out of receipts from the 460 theaters showing The Hobbit installment in the controversial 48-frames-per-second format. Nevertheless, the premium prices commanded by 3D, IMAX, and 48 fps screenings, clearly accounted for the record total. While some writers made much of the fact that the movie topped the opening figures for each of the Lord of the Rings installments, it did not sell as many tickets as any of them. Still, no one at the studios that produced it or the theaters that screened it is complaining. Sales for The Hobbit movie accounted for nearly two-thirds of all tickets sold this weekend — about $234 million-worth. It also helped the overall box office establish a record for the month. Far back in second place was Rise of the Guardians, with $7.42 million, just ahead of third-place Lincoln with $7.24 million, according to industry estimates.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
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. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, $5.2 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 million.

Final Figures for the Top Five Films

1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, $84,617,303
2. Rise of the Guardians, $7,033,132
3. Lincoln, $6,555,732
4. Skyfall, $5,413,066
5. Life of Pi, $5,136,074