Despite a lengthy running time and some mixed critical reactions, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened with an impressive $37.5 million at the box office on Friday, according to Coming Soon. This is a record for a Friday box office haul in the month of December, beating out 2007’s I Am Legend’s $30.1 million take. The movie is now on track to make around $85 million for the weekend, which would be another record for the month.

These opening weekend numbers don’t come close to those of the blockbusters from this past summer; however, big budget tentpole pictures released in the winter tend to make a smaller amount right out of the gate, but they usually have stronger legs as the weeks and months go on. The same thing happened with the original Lord of the Rings movies, and you can expect history to repeat itself this time as well.

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[via Coming Soon]