'The Hobbit' Tracking $70 Million-Plus At Weekend Box Office: Biz Break

The Hobbit Opening Weekend Box OfficePeter Jackson's initial Hobbit is looking to match its Lord of the Rings brethren. Also in Wednesday's news round-up, Joel Edgerton is eyeing to star in next Natalie Portman pic; Andy Samberg is set to take on the Spirit Awards; Top Gun is flying toward IMAX; and Hobbit mock-buster gets a new title.

The Hobbit Tracking for $70 Million Opening
Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey looks like it will take in $70 million-plus at the box office this weekend, putting the 3-D pic on par with the Lord of the Rings franchise. On the same weekend in 2003, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King opened to $72.6 million in North America, THR reports.

Joel Edgerton Eyes Jane Got a Gun
Edgerton is in talks to join the Lynne Ramsey-directed Western action pic Jane Got a Gun, which stars Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender. The film revolves around Jane Hammond (Portman), who reaches out to her ex-lover (Fassbender) to help her when her outlaw husband becomes the target of a violent gang, Deadline reports.

Andy Samberg to Host 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards
The Saturday Night Live veteran will host the 28th annual event in February, which honors the best in the indie film world. The 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards will take place in Santa Monica on February 23rd, LAT reports.

Top Gun Aims for IMAX in 3-D
The 1986 Tom Cruise feature has been remastered in 3-D, which the late director Tony Scott supervised. Top Gun will head back to the big screen for a six-day IMAX engagement beginning February 8th followed by the latest Blu-ray release in a 3D/2D two-disc set coming February 19, Deadline reports.

Age of the Hobbits Set for Cambodian Release Under New Title
Backers of the mock-buster who were stopped by a Federal judge Monday from releasing their film with the title saying it could be confused with Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will now release the pic under the title, The History of Mankind in its native Cambodia, THR reports.