This weekend's box office featured plenty of worthy competitors for the reigning champion, but they were no match for the power of the ring.
At number 1, for the third week in a row, is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with $32 million. Though two of the new Christmas releases were dominating Peter Jackson's film leading up to the weekend, it was Bilbo Baggins that won out in the end.
The film also crossed the $200 million mark for domestic revenue ($222 million) over the weekend, which makes it the 8th highest grossing movie of 2012.
Right behind The Hobbit, at number 2, is Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (read our review) with $30 million. The storied director's take on the western genre, Django Unchained features an eclectic cast which includes Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
As far as Tarantino's entire body of work goes, Django is his second best "opening weekend" (the film officially released on Christmas) behind the 2009 film Inglourious Basterds. As of Sunday the film is up to $64 million in total domestic grosses.
Tom Hooper's adaptation of the musical Les Misérables (read our review) comes in at number 3 this weekend with $28 million. An ambitious undertaking to say the least, Les Misérables features some star-studded talent (Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, among others) that were asked to sing on set to better create the sense of a live performance.
Critics and audiences alike appear to be responding well to the film as well, helping it reach $67 million in domestic grosses over the past five days. In fact, Les Misérables was the #1 film on Christmas, beating out both Django and Hobbit.
In at a distant 4th is Parental Guidance (read our review) – Billy Crystal's PG-rated family comedy – with $14.8 million. Although Parental Guidance was the only family-friendly fare to open over the holiday it was seemingly no match for its higher profile competition. Luckily the film's production budget is only listed at $25 million, which it has already surpassed over the past five days ($29 million).
Rounding out the top 5 is Jack Reacher with $14 million. The adaptation of Lee Child's novel 'One Shot' still has plenty of time to make back its $60 million production budget – the film is currently at $44 million in domestic revenue – but will need to go beyond that to justify the need for a sequel.
At number 6 is This is 40 with $13 million. Things are not looking good for Judd Apatow's latest, which opened with a very soft $11 million last weekend, and is now only up to $37 million. It could conceivably pass Funny People – Apatow's weakest performing film – but is nowhere close to reaching the heights of Knocked Up or The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
Steven Spielberg's Lincoln comes in at number 7 this weekend with $7.5 million. The film, which focuses mostly on our 16th President's attempt to pass the 13th Amendment, is now up to $132 million in domestic grosses.
The Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand road trip comedy The Guilt Trip is this weekend's number 8 film with $6.7 million. Like Parental Guidance it was hoping to capture some of the family-oriented audience that would be heading to the cinema this holiday, but unfortunately the film has only grossed $21 million thus far.
At number 9 is the 3D re-release of Monsters, Inc. with $6.3 million. Barring a miracle it is safe to say that Monsters is the least successful of the Disney and Pixar re-releases, having grossed only $18 million over its first two weeks of release.
And finally, at number 10, is Rise of the Guardians with $4.9 million. For the past several weeks the film had been holding strong in the top 5 – defying those analysts who called it a failure – but it looks like Guardians will bow out having generated a very respectable $90 million in the process. It's just too bad it cost $140 million to make.
Outside of the top 10: Skyfall passed the $1 billion worldwide mark making it the 14th highest grossing film of all time (so far); Promised Land (read our review) opened on only 25 screens and posted a so-so $190,000 debut; and Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty continues to post huge per-screen averages ($63,000 this weekend).
Source: Box Office Mojo