Bilbo Baggins might only be three feet tall, but the hobbit can rake in a tall stack of money. The Hobbit, which opened at midnight Thursday, broke a December record, bringing in $13 million at midnight screenings, according to Hollywood.com's Paul Dergarabedian. Considering the film was screened in 3,100 locations, that accounts for a $4,193 per theater average. IMAX, meanwhile, tells Hollywood.com the film grossed $1.6 million on 326 of their screens and that theaters were "at virtual capacity."
But how did the record-breaking latest in Peter Jackson's Middle-earth franchise fare compared to other highly anticipated projects? Unfortunately, The Hobbit fell short of making the list of Top 10 midnight grossers of all time, which is still dominated by teen-friendly franchises like Harry Potter (which occupies the top spot with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2's $43.5 million) and Twilight (which comes in at No. 3 with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2's $30.4 million, a number that includes Thursday previews of the film).
Of course, the Top 10 list proves Hobbit has plenty to look forward to — The Dark Knight Rises's spot at No. 2 with $30.6 surely indicates that franchise enders inspire more expected journeys to midnight screenings. And Jackson's Lord of the Rings franchise certainly ended on a high note — while Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring opened with a three-day total of just $47.2 million, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King steadily grew to $62 million and $72.6 million, respectively. Here's guessing Warner Bros wishes it could use 48 FPS to speed to 2014's The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
See the Top 10 highest-grossing midnight screenings below!
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2: $43.5 million
2. The Dark Knight Rises: $30.6 million
3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2: $30.4 million (includes Thursday previews)
4. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1: $30.4 million
5. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: $30 million
6. The Twilight Saga: New Moon: $26.3 million
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1: $24 million
8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: $22.2 million
9. The Hunger Games: $19.7 million
10. The Avengers: $18.7 million
[Image Credit: Warner Bros]