'Hobbit' may smash box office record

Updated: 2012-12-03 14:46


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That has got the industry's hopes up for the Christmas season when families gather and shoppers fill malls. Comcast Corp's Universal Pictures is releasing the musical adaptation "Les Miserables", and The Weinstein Company offers up the Leonardo DiCaprio thriller "Django Unchained". A street-brawling Tom Cruise returns in "Jack Reacher" from Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures.

'Hobbit' may smash box office record

Thousands celebrate Hobbit premiere in New Zealand

But it is the dwarves and wizards from "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", that Hollywood is banking on to generate movie going mania. Set 60 years before the Oscar-winning "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, the movie is the kind that studios love - a "four quadrant" film that appeals to male, female, young and old, said Contrino of Boxoffice.com. He projects $137 million in opening weekend domestic sales, rising to $475 million through its theatrical run.

The film, based on the fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien about the travels of hobbit Bilbo Baggins, almost did not make it to the screen at all. Director Peter Jackson made the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy when producers could not get "The Hobbit" rights that were held by MGM's United Artists unit.

"The Hobbit", also a trilogy, has been produced by MGM and Time Warner Inc but only after Jackson settled a lawsuit against Time Warner's New Line Cinema unit in a dispute over profits from the "Rings" trilogy.

Now all the film has to do is delight fans with a new hobbit adventure across Middle Earth and deliver a record year for Hollywood.

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'Hobbit' may smash box office record

'Hobbit' may smash box office record

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