16 December 2012 9:10 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Despite being the latest entry in a well-loved Oscar-winning series with a billion-dollar final installment, expectations were tempered for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Unlike the previous trilogy, reviews were a bit more mixed this time around, and some fans wondered if a trilogy was really necessary from the comparatively thin source material. The nerdcore and critics were particularly vocal about the film's 48 fps format (though it was only featured at 461 of the film's engagements, a fraction of screens). But even with those hurdles, Peter Jackson's latest foray into Middle Earth collected $84.8 million, the biggest opening weekend in December history, easily topping the $73 million 'Return Of The King' grabbed in 2004. Even if this bests the $77 million that "I Am Legend" grossed as the original highest December opening, the caveats lie in the fact that some pundits forecasted a nine figure showing for the first three days of »

- Gabe Toro

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