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OTRC: 'The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey' reportedly wins Friday box office with $37.5 million

Martin Freeman appears in a scene from 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' in 2012. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

"The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey" is on track for a big box office debut.

The film, which is one of three planned films that are prequels to "The Lord of the Rings" franchise, reportedly earned an estimated $37.5 million at the box office on Friday, according to Entertainment Weekly. The sum marks the highest gross ever for a December opening day.

The movie had initially earned $13 million during midnight showings. The previous record holder was "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King," which grossed $34.5 million on opening day in 2003, the magazine reports.

"The Hobbit" films feature Martin Freeman the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the uncle of Frodo Baggins from "Lord of the Rings." The first installment in the trilogy, "The Unexpected Journey," sees Bilbo embark on a dangerous journey across Middle Earth with the help of Gandalf and a large group of dwarves to find treasure guarded by a dragon, Smaug.

In other box office news, "Lincoln" and the James Bond film "Skyfall" tied for second place. The two films earned $1.9 million on December 14, according to Entertainment Weekly.

In fourth place is the CGI-animated film "Rise of the Guardian" with $1.5 million and finishing the top five films is "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2." The final film in the vampire romance franchise earned $1.5 million.

"The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey" was released on Friday, December 14. Check out the trailer below.

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