The first part of the Hobbit trilogy has opened with a record for a December debut, making an estimated $13 million in ticket sales across U.S. and Canada just after midnight on Friday. However, according to yet unconfirmed records, ticket sales may have already crossed $37 million by Saturday midnight.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, from Academy Award winning filmmaker Peter Jackson may be the right kind of entertainment needed by moviegoers, and the boost needed by the box office, this holiday season.
According to Reuters, the Hobbit outdid the debut of the “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” which had made only $8 million from midnight sales during December 2003. However, with inflation adjusted, the revenue may not be so big in 2012.
However, the movie is expected to perform well enough worldwide over the weekend. There is a strong fan base of J.R.R. Tolkien, myself included, and the movies on the Lord of the Rings has created a newer and younger fan base.
Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box office division of Hollywood.com has already predicted that “The Hobbit” may well end the weekend with domestic sales of $75 million or more. While some analysts are expecting a weekend sell crossing $100 million, according to Reuters, during the holiday season, no movie has yet made it so big.
The record in North America for a December debut is still held by Will Smith’s “I Am Legend,” which grossed $77.2 million in 2007.