Huge opening weekend for The Hobbit
Peter Jackson will be smiling as his movie The Hobbit has a fantastic opening weekend with huge US and Canadian ticket sales.PT0M50S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2bich 620 349 December 17, 2012
PETER JACKSON'S The Hobbit set a record for December US takings at the weekend with a haul of $US84.8 million ($80.91 million), an opening better than the three previous Lord of the Rings films.
The Warner Bros Middle Earth epic starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, pictured, was the biggest December opening ever, surpassing Will Smith's I Am Legend, which opened with $US77.2 million in 2007, according to studio estimates. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey also passed the December opening of Avatar, which opened with $US77 million. Internationally, The Hobbit also added $US138.2 million, for an impressive debut well north of $US200 million.
Despite weak reviews, the 3D adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's first novel in the fantasy series was an even bigger draw than the last Lord of the Rings movie, The Return of the King. That film opened with $US72.6 million. The Hobbit is the first of another planned trilogy, and two more films to be squeezed out of Tolkien's book. While Jackson's Rings movies drew many accolades - The Return of the King won best picture at the Academy Awards - the path for The Hobbit has been rockier.
Record takings ... The Hobbit.
It received no Golden Globes nominations on Thursday, while all three Rings films were nominated by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for best picture.
Particularly criticised has been the film's 48-frames-per-second (double the usual rate), a hyper-detailed look that some have found jarring.
Most filmgoers didn't see The Hobbit in that version, as the new technology was rolled out in just 461 of the 4045 theatres playing the film.
The film was a hit with audiences, who graded it with an ''A'' on CinemaScore.