Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel and set 60 years prior to events in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened in theaters this past weekend scoring record high ticket sales of $84.8 million in the U.S. and $138.2 million overseas, totally $233 million worldwide.
According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), The Hobbit is the first in director Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy, distributed by Warner Bros., and it is “expected to earn as much as four times its opening weekend gross through New Year’s Day.”
Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution, told THR, “It is great to see Peter’s fans return, along with a new generation of that is embracing Middle-earth. We expect a long and exciting run.”
During opening weekend, the movie did very well among older moviegoers, in particular those over 25, and according to THR, “males made up 57% of those buying tickets, while younger moviegoers gave the epic an A+ CinemaScore.” The Hobbit was popular in Imax theaters, which made up the top 10 locations for showings in the U.S. and included 126 locations overseas.
The Hobbit stars Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen.
Other box office hits this weekend include Rise of the Guardians, Lincoln, Skyfall, Life of Pi and Twilight: Breaking Dawn.