The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has broken two records at the US box office to become the highest grossing Christmas movie of all time.
Peter Jackson’s adaption of JRR Tolkien’s classic novel kicked off with takings of $37.5 million – the biggest December Friday opener in domestic history.
The film then took $28.1 million on Saturday to claim the record of the largest December weekend at the American ticket office, even without Sunday’s takings being calculated. Warner Brothers are predicting the movie could earn over $85 million in the U.S. for the whole weekend.
As reported by Deadline.com, the movie version of the 1937 book is playing in 4,045 North American theaters, also a record number for December.
Friday’s huge opening haul included $13 million from midnight showings on Thursday night, which included $1.6 million on IMAX screens.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was digitally remastered for IMAX 3D and filmed using new technology.
A select number of theaters are presenting the picture at double the standard frame rate, showing the movie at 48 frames per second rather than the standard 24 frames per second.
This technology claims to show the film in a way that is closer to how the human eye actually sees images.
Despite mixed reviews from critics, the movie is also doing incredibly well internationally.
An Unexpected Journey is also the number one film overseas and already taken $57 million from 56 international markets (in 18,200 screens).
Deadline.com reports that the film may end the weekend with takings of around $200 million worldwide.