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Hobbit scores biggest North American December release

The estimated $84.8m three-day haul through Warner Bros makes New Line/MGM’s fantasy adventure the biggest film ever to open in December.

Combined with the $138.4m international demolition job The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has raced to $222.8m worldwide.

Peter Jackson once again directed the JRR Tolkien adaptation, the first in a trilogy. Martin Freeman stars alongside familiar Lord Of The Rings faces like Ian McKellen and Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving.

The Hobbit generated a December opening weekend record for IMAX and took more than $10.1m from 326 screens, which combined with $5m internationally for a December record global launch of more than $15m.

Far behind in second place was DreamWorks Animation’s Rise Of The Guardians, which generated a further $7.4m in its fourth weekend through Paramount to reach $71.4m.

DreamWorks’ Lincoln crossed $100m on Thursday and added $7.2m over the weekend to rank third on $107.9m after six.

Sony/MGM/Eon’s James Bond smash Skyfall in fourth place stands at $272.4m after six and has reached $951.1m worldwide factoring in an extraordinary $678.7m international gross through SPRI and MGM.

The Weinstein Company’s Silver Linings Playbook climbed one place to number 10 in its fifth weekend following a $2.1m haul that pushed the running total to $16.9m. The film remains on a relatively small footprint of 371 sites.

Music Box opened the Alan Cumming drama Any Day Now on $41,000 from 16 sites.

Next weekend sees the wide release of three Paramount films: action title Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise; comedy The Guilt Trip with Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand; and concert film Cirque Du Soleil: World’s Away. Buena Vista’s Monsters, Inc on 3D is also in action.

Estimated Top 10 North America Dec 14-16 2012
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros-New Line/MGM) WBPI $84.8m –

2 (2) Rise Of The Guardians (Paramount-DWks Animation) PPI $7.4m $71.4m

3 (4) Lincoln (DWks-Buena Vista) Fox Int’l $7.2m $107.9m

4 (1) Skyfall (Sony/MGM/Eon) SPRI/MGM $7m $272.4m

5 (5) Life Of Pi (Fox) Fox Int’l $5.4m $69.6m

6 (3) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (Summit-Lionsgate) Summit/Lionsgate Int’l $5.2m $276.9m

7 (7) Wreck-It Ralph (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $3.3m $168.8m

8 (6) Playing For Keeps (FilmDistrict) Nu Image $3.2m $10.8m

9 (8) Red Dawn (FilmDistrict) FilmNation $2.4m $40.9m

10 (11) Silver Linings Playbook (TWC) TWC Int’l $2.1m $16.9m

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