The Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) movie took in $84.8 million this weekend, setting a record for a December opening, the Associated Press reports. The Hobbit beat out previous record holders, I Am Legend and Avatar, both of which made $77 million in their opening weekends. The film also bested the last film from Middle Earth, The Return of the King, which opened with $72.6 million.
The Hobbit’s opening was so strong that it brought in most of the weekend’s movie revenue, according to Box Office Mojo. The movie-tracking site reports that the top 42 movies available this weekend brought in a combined $136.5 million. That means The Hobbit earned 62% of all moviegoer dollars over the weekend.
The film, which received CinemaScore’s top rating of A among moviegoers who were polled, also did well in foreign markets. With $138.2 million in ticket sales outside the U.S., the film’s three-day total comes in at $223 million.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. Two other films in the trilogy are to be released later. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 2013 and The Hobbit: There and Back Again in 2014.