December 16, 2012 in Nation/World

‘The Hobbit’ tops box office with $84.8 million

Associated Press
 
James Fisher photo

This film image released by Warner Bros., shows Ian McKellen as Gandalf in a scene from the fantasy adventure “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

NEW YORK (AP) — Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” led the box office with an opening of $84.8 million, a start better than the three previous “Lord of the Rings” films.

Studio estimates Sunday had the Warner Bros. 3-D epic as the biggest December opening ever, surpassing Will Smith’s “I Am Legend,” which opened with $77.2 million in 2007.

Despite generally poor reviews, the 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” films, “The Return of the King.” That film opened with $72.6 million.

While Jackson’s “Rings” movies drew many Oscar nominations, the path for “The Hobbit” has been rockier. It received no Golden Globes nominations on Thursday. Its 48-frames-per-second, double the usual rate, also has been criticized.

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