The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Warner Bros

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey tracked down an estimated $37.5 million Friday, its studio reported, the biggest opening day ever for a December release.

Audiences liked what they saw, grading the not-quite critically loved, high-frame-rate polarizing Peter Jackson movie an A in exit polling.

A completely unscientific Twitter search found that moviegoers were reporting that The Hobbit was sick, as in good, and not making them sick, as in "Hobbit vomit."

The Hobbit marks Jackson's return to J.R.R. Tolkien. The biggest opening day for one of his Lord of the Rings movies was The Return of the King's $34.5 million.

The new film had been projected to be on track for a Friday-Sunday, opening weekend in the neighborhood of $100 million.

The sexiest Middle-earth men alive

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