The Hobbit Rules the Box Office

Hobbit Movie PosterNot unexpectedly The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ruled the box office this weekend. It’s debut weekend brought in an estimated $84.8 million. That’s a record opening in December. The previous champ, I Am Legend, debuted with $77.2 million.

The best opening Lord of the Rings film, opened with $72 million in it’s initial weekend back in 2003. That was Return of the King, but the film opened on a Wednesday, so not a fair comparison. There’s also the almost decade between the films. Ticket prices have increased as well as price increases for 3D and higher frame rates. In the end, the audience for Return of the King was probably bigger.

The Hobbit has so far earned an “A” CinemaScore from opening weekend crowds (and an even better “A+” rating from younger viewer). Men accounted for 57% of The Hobbit’s audience, which was older, 58% over 25, but with 20% under 18. The movie currently has a 65% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.