16 December 2012 11:10 AM, PST | Deadline Hollywood | See recent Deadline Hollywood news »

Sunday 11 Am, 8th Update: Hollywood now has high hopes for this all-important holiday box office after this journey to Middle Earth is the largest Christmas release of all time. Rival studios knew Peter Jackson‘s film adaptation of the 1937 Jrr Tolkien novel would be a monster hit so left this weekend alone. Warner Bros says The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey internationally opened to $138.2M in its first 5 days for 15M admissions in 56 markets from 18,200 screens. Domestically it earned $84.7M from 4,045 theaters. That makes for a gargantuan worldwide total of $223M, including a December record of $15M from IMAX screens. Pic opened in U.S./Canada to $37.5M Friday and $28.1M Saturday and an estimated $19.1M Sunday for an $84.7M weekend with an ‘A’ CinemaScore from audiences. There are two records shattered – biggest December Friday and biggest December weekend for the domestic box office. The debut for the 3D actioner from »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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