More or less as expected by the more prescient industry-watchers (as usual, BoxOfficeGuru's Gitesh Pandya was close to the mark), The Hobbit earned over $84 million in an opening weekend that set a new December record. The global take was $223 million.
These are indisputably strong numbers - but given what might have been hoped for given the success of the originals (as well as today's higher ticket prices and boosts from 3-D and IMAX), less than spectacular. Still, despite some mixed reviews and apparent anxiety in some quarters, audiences seem to be liking the film, which got an "A" grade at Cinemascore.
Rise of the Guardians and Lincoln claimed the number two and three spots, which is quite respectable given that this is their fourth and sixth weekends respectively (though also a reflection of the weak overall competition).
Skyfall, also in its sixth weekend, was only a few hundred thousand dollars behind Guardians and Lincoln, taking in $7 million at the U.S. box office to boost its American gross to $272 million, and the global take to at least $951 million - carrying it past yet another milestone. Having just surpassed Goldfinger's inflation-adjusted gross, it is now the second-highest highest grosser in series history, except for Thunderball. The film now seems more than likely to reach the billion-dollar mark by New Year's Day - and perhaps, even dethrone the 1965 Bond film as the series' #1 hit a half century after its arrival on screen.
The Star Wars prequels and The Hobbit: Audience Expectations
. . . And Next Weekend
The Weekend Box Office, December 7-9
The Weekend Box Office, November 30-December 2
My Posts on Star Wars
My Posts on James Bond