The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will almost certainly retain its top spot at the U.S. box office this week as a host of new films seek to find cinema audiences. Tom Cruise and his drama Jack Reacher looks like the leader of the pack of new films, none of which will threaten Peter Jackson’s first of three movies back in Middle-earth based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s first writings to feature Hobbits.

Jackson famously directed three films based on Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to earn all the award things and pull down about $3 billion in movie-ticket sales and a dragon’s hoard of gold from home video and merchandising.’s Paul Dergarabedia, who gets to talk about box office to all the media, writes that:

“While The Hobbit will certainly top the box office for the second straight weekend with a gross in the $50 million range, a host of newcomers are going to fight over the leftovers this Christmas weekend.”

Dergarabedia was a little low on his predictions for The Hobbit‘s opening while others were unrealistically high. He relies on the historical performance of similar movies in similar release dates. You can read his whole weekend rundown right here. You can also read his Hobbit-specific predictions.

The better known (but not better) says:

“…it’s a foregone conclusion that The Hobbit will once again lead the box office, though it could yield the top spot on Christmas Day to Django Unchained or Les Miserables.”

That story, also worth a read if box office matters to you, can be found here.
It also features The Hobbit‘s interesting box office page that also features a tab with a daily chart.