New Line Cinema and MGM’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey grossed $37.5 million domestically on Friday, the biggest Friday ever for the month of December. The figure includes $13 million from midnight earnings.
Receiving an A CinemaScore from audiences, the Peter Jackson adaptation debuted in 4,045 theaters and the studio expects the film to earn $85 million for the weekend, also a record for the month. I Am Legend, which opened the same weekend in 2007, holds the record with $77.2 million. The Will Smith-starrer previously held the record for best Friday in December with $30.1 million.
Overseas, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey earned $27.3 million its first two days in theaters. The film started its international release on Wednesday.
Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis and many, many more star in first film of three.
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“Social Network” dropped only 31 percent its second weekend for a total gross of $46 million after only 10 days in release.
“Life as We Know It” landed in second place with $14.6 million. The Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel-starrer was expected to gross closer to $18 million. But according to exit pollster Cinemascore, those that did see the romantic comedy loved it, giving it an A-.
The predominantly female, over-25 audience was heavily courted this weekend, also being lured by the Diane Lane horse movie “Secretariat.” That film, from Disney Studios, earned an estimated $12.6 million, overperforming in smaller markets such as Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado and Dallas, Texas. It also scored very well with those female, over-25 moviegoers, who gave it an A, according to the exit pollster.
Slot four belonged to family holdover “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.” The Zack Snyder-directed animated flick earned $7 million its third weekend in release. The film has earned $39 million.
Spot five marked the poorest-received release of the new crop of films. Wes Craven’s first endeavor into 3-D “My Soul to Take” earned $6.9 million in over 2,500 theaters with 86 percent of the gross coming from the 3-D screens. The Relativity release was hated by audiences, who gave it a D, according to Cinemascore, and those audiences polled who were over 25, liked it even less, giving it an F.
The rest of the Top 10:
6. “The Town”
7. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”
8. “Easy A”
9. “Case 39″
10. “You Again”
The past month has belonged to a slew of interesting adult dramas that have scored well with both audiences and critics but have had trouble generating much beyond $20 million openings.
Next weekend should change the $20 million trend with “Jackass 3-D” opening wide opposite the old fogey actioner “Red.”Read More