'The Hobbit' takes $2m at weekend

For all the hype, Sir Peter Jackson's Hobbit film rated only third on Kiwi movie-goers' excitement meters, beaten by vampires and superheroes.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had the third-biggest opening this year in New Zealand, behind Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, which took the top spot, making $2.24 million during its first four days, and The Avengers, which made $2.38 million this year.

The first of Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy has taken the year's third place, making $2.036 million last weekend.

The Hobbit was also beaten by The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, which brought in $2.69 million the first weekend it was released in 2003 and retained the third-place title for the overall best opening weekend. The overall top opening weekend went to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The Hobbit was seventh. The Hobbit set a December record in North America, pulling in $US84.77 million ($101 million), and US$223 million ($265.7 million) internationally for the opening weekend.

- Nikki Preston