‘The Hobbit’ sets new December box office record in US

Peter Jackson's new Tolkien epic enjoys the best December opening weekend ever

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has set a new US box office record in its opening weekend.

Since arriving in US cinemas last Friday (December 14), Peter Jackson‘s first The Hobbit film has raked in $84.8 million (£52.4 million) – the highest three-day total of all-time in the month of December.

The previous December three-day opening record was set by I Am Legend, which earned $77.2 million (£47.7 million) in its first weekend in December 2007. Jackson’s last Tolkien epic, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, took $72 million (£44.5 million) in its opening weekend in December 2003.

Meanwhile, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey earned a further $138.2 million (£85.4 million) overseas for a worldwide three-day total of $223 million (£137.8 million). Back in 2003, The Return of The King‘s global opening weekend total came in at a slightly lower $197.9 million (£122.3 million).

Despite its record-breaking start, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrives too late in the year to challenge for the title of 2012’s biggest film. Since its release in May, The Avengers has taken over $1.5 billion (£930 million) worldwide, placing it way ahead of The Dark Knight Rises, which is is second with $1.08 billion (£670 million), and Skyfall, currently third with $951 million (£587 million).