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'Hobbit' sets record for December movie opening

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Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” led the box office with a haul of $84.8 million, a record-setting opening better than the three previous “Lord of the Rings” films. The Warner Bros. Middle Earth epic was the biggest December opening ever, surpassing Will Smith’s “I Am Legend,” which opened with $77.2 million in 2007, according to studio estimates Sunday. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” also passed the December opening of “Avatar,” which opened with $77 million. Internationally, ...

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