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THE HOBBIT Breaks Box Office Record with $84.4 Million Debut

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Peter Jackson's THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY has officially broken box office records, earning an astounding $84.4 million in its first weekend, Rentrak has announced. THE HOBBIT now holds the title of highest debut in movie history for the month of December. Will Smith's 2007 hit I AM LEGEND previously held the record with $77.2 million.

THE HOBBIT was theatrically released in international markets on December 13 domestically on Friday, December 14. On its first day of release in the United States, THE HOBBIT earned $37.5 million.

Though it's proving to be a box office smash for Jackson, the film has received mixed reviews so far; see BWW's December 13th Review Roundup.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. The film stars Martin Freeman, and Ian McKellan - it is the first in what is set to be a trilogy.

Rounding out the top five earners for the weekend of Dec. 14-16 were Paramount's RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, which netted $7.4 million, Disney's LINCOLN with $7.2 million, and the latest entry in the 007 franchise, SKYFALL, with $7 million. Fox's LIFE OF PI earned $5.4 million.

Rentrak's Domestic Box Office Estimates: Weekend of Dec 14-16

1) Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Warner Bros. $84,775,000 4,045 20,957 $84,775,000
2) Rise Of The Guardians, Paramount $7,420,000 3,387 2,190 $71,361,823
3) Lincoln, Disney $7,244,000 2,285 3,170 $107,898,000
4) Skyfall, Sony $7,000,000 2,924 2,393 $272,366,063
5) Life Of Pi, 20th Century Fox $5,400,000 2,548 2,119 $69,559,406
6) Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 Lionsgate $5,175,000 3,042 1,701 $276,865,069
7) Wreck-It Ralph, Disney $3,273,000 2,249 1,455 $168,779,000
8) Playing For Keeps, FilmDistrict $3,247,000 2,840 1,143 $10,838,092
9) Red Dawn, FilmDistrict $2,394,000 2,250 1,064 $40,889,423
10) Silver Linings Playbook, The Weinstein Company $2,084,000 371 5,617 $16,954,049
11) Flight, Paramount $1,940,000 1,823 1,064 $89,448,038
12) Hitchcock, Fox Searchlight $1,085,000 561 1,934 $3,049,212


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