The Lord of the Rings prequel earned $84.8 million in its debut weekend. The previous record holder was 2007's I Am Legend, which earned $77.2 million.
"Schools are in session," Warner Bros. domestic head Dan Fellman said. "So to come in with this kind of a record-breaking number is really exciting for us. Knowing that the holiday is in front of us, we're going to be in for a long and successful run."
Here are the top 10 movies at the box office this weekend:
Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($84.7 million), Peter Ramsey's Rise of the Guardians ($7.4 million), Daniel Day-Lewis' Lincoln ($7.2 million), Daniel Craig's Skyfall ($7 million), Suraj Sharma's Life of Pi ($5.4 million), Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 ($5.2 million), Rich Moore's Wreck-It Ralph ($3.3 million), Gerard Butler's Playing for Keeps ($3.2 million), Chris Hemsworth's Red Dawn ($2.4 million) and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence's Silver Linings Playbook ($2.1 million).