Sure, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey set a December record last weekend when it opened with $84.5 million, but after eight days in theaters, it’s now clear that the Lord of the Rings prequel is running well behind the final LOTR film, The Return of the King, which earned $377.8 in 2003 — without 3D and IMAX surcharges.
The Hobbit dropped by a huge 73 percent from its first Friday to $10.2 million yesterday, which puts it on pace for a $33 million weekend. That would give The Hobbit a running total of about $147 million by Sunday, its tenth day of release. The Return of the King had earned $190.8 million after 10 days in theaters, and it was only about halfway to its final total, but The Hobbit is falling much faster, and it will need to hold up remarkably well over the holiday to have a shot at $300 million domestically. READ FULL STORY »