The Hobbit Falls Short of Expectations, But Still Breaks Records

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Peter Jackson's latest trek through Midlde Earth - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - was expected at the beginning of the weekend to make nearly or possibly even eclipse $100 million, surpassing the $77 million opening weekend take of I Am Legend, the top-grossing December opener of all time. The Hobbit didn't make $100 million, but it did pass the record pretty easily, taking in an estimated $84 million this weekend, according to the latest projections. $84 million will not only make it the biggest opening weekend ever in December (#3 is Avatar, the top-grossing film of all time) but also the biggest opening yet for any of the Jackson-Tokien films, beating The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which opened with a $72 million weekend on the way to a $378 million theatrical gross and an Academy Award for Best Picture. The next-biggest movie at this weekend's box office was Skyfall with $7 million, meaning that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey made nearly 12 times the next movie, and will more than likely have made more money than the entire rest of the top ten by the time the weekend is through.