‘The Hobbit’ tops US box office

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has easily topped the US box office chart, grossing over $84 million in its first weekend on release.

The Peter Jackson-directed Lord of the Rings prequel set a new December box office record in the process, beating the three-day earnings of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which scooped $73.3 million in 2003.

Disney animation Rise of the Guardians remained runner-up for a second week, with Lincoln climbing one place to three after receiving several nominations at both the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Awards this week.

Last week’s chart-topper Skyfall dropped to four, earning $7 million in its sixth week on release, while The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 also crashed three places to six with $5.175 million.

Life of Pi stayed steady at five, with Wreck-It Ralph, Playing for Keeps and Red Dawn all remaining to hold onto a top ten spot.

Silver Linings Playbook also climbed up one place to ten after also being honoured with a clutch of SAG and Golden Globe nominations.

The top ten in full (studio estimates):
1. (-) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – $84.775 million
2. (2) Rise of the Guardians – $7.42 million
3. (4) Lincoln – $7.244 million
4. (1) Skyfall – $7 million
5. (5) Life of Pi – $5.4 million
6. (3) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 – $5.175 million
7. (7) Wreck-It Ralph – $3.273 million
8. (6) Playing for Keeps – $3.247 million
9. (8) Red Dawn – $2.394 million
10. (11) Silver Linings Playbook – $2.084 million