New Line and MGM's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey kicked off the holiday season with an $84.8 million debut, the top three-day opening of all time for the month of December. The first in Peter Jackson's planned trilogy, The Hobbit opened to $138.2 million overseas for a worldwide total of $223 million.
IMAX theaters made up the top 10 locations for The Hobbit, with theaters playing the film in the 48 frames-per-second format averaging $44,000 per location. The IMAX format was also a draw overseas, where, also setting a December record, 126 locations turned in $5 million for a per-screen average of $40,000.
DreamWorks Animation and Paramount's holiday-themed Rise of the Guardians held onto the number two spot at the box office, grossing $7.4 million this weekend. Domestically, the 3D animated feature has earned $71.4 million to date.
In its sixth weekend, Steven Spielberg's historical drama Lincoln came in third place with weekend earnings of $7.2 million and putting its domestic total at $107.9 million.
Sam Mendes' James Bond film Skyfall came in fourth on its sixth outing at the weekend box office, bringing in $7 million for a domestic total of $272.4 million.
For the fourth weekend, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi wound up in fifth place, earning $5.4 million for a domestic total of $69.6 million.
Summit Entertainment's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 came in at number six with $5.2 million for a domestic total of $276.9 million.
Disney Animation Studios' Wreck-It Ralph came in at number seven in its seventh weekend at the box office, earning $3.3 million for a domestic total of $168.8 million.
In eighth place, FilmDistrict’s soccer-themed romantic comedy, Playing for Keeps, brought in $3.2 million on its sophomore weekend for a total of $10.8 million.
MGM and FilmDistrict's Red Dawn remake came in ninth place on its fourth weekend at the box office, bringing in $2.4 million for a domestic total of $40.9 million.
Rounding out the list at number 10, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook made The Weinstein Co. $2.1 million for a domestic total $17 million.
Box office numbers were obtained on boxofficemojo.com .