Tomorrow is a big day for Peter Jackson. Will a 266-day shooting schedule be worth it? Having seen “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” I’m betting there’s a good chance “Lord of the Rings” fans won’t get the same satisfaction from the start of the new series, but that isn’t going to stop anyone from giving it a go. Every film of “The Lord of the Rings” opened this very same weekend, “The Fellowship of the Ring” kicking things off fairly strong with $47 million, “The Two Towers” bumping up the opening weekend haul to $62 million and then “The Return of the King” climbing even further, earning $72 million its first weekend out. Clearly is was a steady hike up for “Lord of the Rings,” but it could be the reverse for “The Hobbit,” “An Unexpected Journey” likely to make a killing, perhaps even topping “Return of the King” with $82 million, but then earnings dipping down as the series continues.

With no other newcomers entering the race, it’ll come down to stamina and/or theater count changes for the rest of the films. “Skyfall” is losing 477 theaters, but “Rise of the Guardians” is waving goodbye to some as well, so “Skyfall” should be able to secure the second position with $7 million. If “Rise of the Guardians” drops 40%, it’ll come in just behind with $6.5 million.

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” was just behind “Rise of the Guardians” last weekend, but between a 604 theater loss and a fast decline in general, this weekend it’ll also give way to “Lincoln” and “Life of Pi.” Should both “Lincoln” and “Life of Pi” only drop 35%, they’ll post $5.7 million and $5.4 million respectively while “Breaking Dawn” is more likely to drop 50% for a $4.5 million weekend five haul.

With “Playing for Keeps” looking to fade quickly, “Wreck-It Ralph” should come in at #7 with a 40% loss and another $3 million. Even though “Red Dawn” did manage to level off, a 504-theater decline will keep it from climbing over “Playing for Keeps” while a loss of 608 theaters will stop it from slipping under “Flight.” With “Playing for Keeps” likely on its way to a $3 million second weekend out, it’ll come in at #8 while both “Red Dawn” and “Flight” will file in right behind with $2 million each.

Shockya.com Predictions

1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

2. Skyfall

3. Rise of the Guardians

4. Lincoln

5. Life of Pi

6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

7. Wreck-It Ralph

8. Playing for Keeps

9. Red Dawn

10. Flight

By Perri Nemiroff (via Box Office Mojo)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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By Perri Nemiroff

Film producer and director best known for her work in movies such as FaceTime, Trevor, and The Professor. She has worked as an online movie blogger and reporter for sites such as CinemaBlend.com, ComingSoon.net, Shockya, and MTV's Movies Blog.

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