Hobbit Scores $85M Opening Weekend

Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth proved quite profitable with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” raking in an estimated $84.7 million opening weekend.

That is the biggest December Friday and biggest December weekend of all time for the U.S. domestic box office. The film opened big with $37.5 million on Friday, but slipped down to $28.1 million on Saturday. There was talk it would open above $100 million, but the film’s long runtime and the time of year are thought to have had an impact.

On international screens, the film took $57M from 56 international markets by Friday, with early estimates suggesting a total worldwide opening weekend gross that could well clock in close to $200 million.