'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Has Best December Friday Of all Time, Topping $37.5m In US

Warner Bros/New Line Cinema

Despite lukewarm reviews, 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' is wowing at the box-office, grossing a record  $37.5 million on Friday to score the top Friday in North America.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film, Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth after the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, took $13m at midnight screenings before continuing that good run to top $37.5m, higher than previous estimates predicted.

The more optimistic predictions of a $95m opening weekend, which will smash the previous record of 'I Am Legend' at $77m are now looking more accurate than Warner Bros initial estimates of around $85m.

The good early figures represent a degree of vindication for Jackson, who had been criticised over his use of 48 fps 3D technology, which some claimed made the film not look its best.

However, tragic events from Newtoiwn could dampen down the weekend box-office, as Americans come to terms with the tragedy that saw 28 people, 20 children killed in Connecticut.

PHOTOS: The characters of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'

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