December 14, 2012

HOBBITWATCH: A Sort-Of Midnight Record


The cash has started pouring in for THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (Warners/MGM).  In 3100 theatres, the film earned $13M in midnight screenings last night.  That was considerably higher than the $8M earned by the midnights for Return of the King, but King was in2003, before the phenomenon of midnight releases had really taken hold (and in only 2100 theatres).  Hobbit also has the benefit of 3D premium ticket prices.

$13M isn’t anywhere close to the midnight record ($43.5M for the final Harry Potter)–in fact, it’s not even in the Top 10–but studio spin would like us to know that it’s the highest midnight opening in the month of December.  (Thanks, studio spin!)

Hobbit has an excellent chance of beating Return of the King‘s $72.6M opening weekend record for the Tolkien franchise (however, that’s somewhat misleading as King, like the other Lord of the Rings films, opened on a Wednesday, and had made a total of $124.1M by its first Sunday), as well as I Am Legend‘s December weekend record of $77.2M.  Return earned $34.5M on its opening day ($21.8M on its first Friday), and Legend‘s opening day was $30.1M.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."