Zero Dark Thirty also sets record in limited release.
The American tradition of theater-going on Christmas Day remains intact, with The Hobbit taking the biggest bite out of ticket sales. Peter Jackson's family epic grossed another $36.7 million over the holiday weekend, bringing its domestic total to just under $150 million.
While that's not bad for about 10 days' work, analysts are noticing a steep decline from The Hobbit's opening weekend. If the trend continues, the uber-expensive production may fall short of Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy and prove to be a disappointment to studio heads.
Still, none of the weekend's new entries could make a dent in The Hobbit's domination, with Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher and Judd Apatow's This is 40 (a semi-sequel to his runaway hit Knocked Up) falling short. Reacher took in an uninspired $15.6 million, while 40 came in at around $12 million.
Kathryn Bigelow's action drama Zero Dark Thirty, a fact-based account of the Navy Seal team that captured Osama Bin Laden, set a record even in limited release, raking in nearly $25,000 per screen in its five-city run. That's more than the top three films combined, if ticket sales per showing are considered. Zero Dark Thirty is betting on a lot of love from the Oscars, with plans to release nationwide on Jan. 11, the day after nominations are announced.
Christmas Day brought in a slew of new films to challenge The Hobbit's run, including Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. Like a pot boiling over, Spike Lee could no longer hold in his commentary on the film, telling Vibe.com that he will boycott the slave-era drama because he finds it "disrespectful to my ancestors."
While Lee is certainly entitled to his opinion, stars Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington, who have been working overtime to promote the controversial film, hope others don't agree.
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(Photo: Warner Bros Pictures/ MGM)