Crisis, what crisis? Fears over how The Hobbit might have got on over the weekend in the US Box Office were comfortably swept aside as, based on the back of a huge core audience left over from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and a lack of competition elsewhere in the new releases, Peter Jackson’s new trilogy kicked off with almighty takings of $84.8 million.

Though some had predicted that the film could take as much as $100 million on the opening weekend, its eventual figure was still a record for a debut weekend in December for a movie, placing it a huge $77.4 million ahead of second place, a resurgent Rise Of The Guardians. According to E! Online, the previous record was held by the Will Smith starring I Am Legend, which took $77.2 million in 2007, and Avatar now sits at third on that list.

Though a great weekend, there was still one thing to be concerned about: the estimated drop in takings on each day. The film took a reported $37.5 million on Friday (December 14), $28.2 million on Saturday (December 15) and $19.1 million on Sunday (December 16). The sensitive issue of the recent Newtown shooting tragedy may well have played a part, though the film’s studios understandably wouldn’t get into depth about how it might have. With the school holidays beginning this week, though, there is the chance that The Hobbit could sustain respectable takings into the second weekend yet.