UPDATE, 11:37 AM PT: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug scored $8.5M on its opening day (December 11th) in select international markets for a gross that’s 3% higher than last year’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Warner Bros says. France was confirmed at $2.8M with 263,000 admissions, a jump of 8% on the earlier film with 53% of the market.
The second installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy releases in the U.S. tomorrow, with midnight shows starting tonight. MovieTickets.com reports that 88% of its sales yesterday were for the film which is tracking at about $85M in its domestic bow.
Meanwhile, other international territories have had a look-see at the Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced dragon Smaug ahead of the U.S., including Holland, Belgium and French-speaking Switzerland. Each had its biggest openings of the year. Holland’s gross was $619,000 on 172 screens; Belgiums’s was $428,000 for 64% of the market and a 90% increase on An Unexpected Journey, and the latter claimed $125,000 on 56 screens for an 80% share. Also commanding an 80% share was the Philippines with $252,000 on 312 screens; that was on par with the previous film.
In Scandinavia, where MGM is releasing the film, Smaug took a total of $4.2M. Sweden was 3% ahead of An Unexpected Journey and Finland was up 9% to $480,000 on 191 screens.
PREVIOUS, WEDNESDAY PM: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug opened Wednesday in its first international territory — France — to an estimated $2.8 million (or 8% higher than The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) on 909 screens, Warner Bros said. The pic opened in the No. 1 spot (Frozen, of course, is in its second week there). In Paris, it was 15% ahead of last year’s Hobbit. Other films opening in France this week include local comedy 100% Cachemire, Cannes prizewinner A Touch Of Sin, JC Chandor’s All Is Lost and Bad Grandpa.
Warner Bros is opening Desolation Of Smaug in 49 territories Friday on more than 15,000 screens including in Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, Mexico, Brazil and Korea. It will roll out in other markets later.
Industry analysts say tracking for the domestic bow is expected to be similar to last year’s opening of $84.6 million, which ultimately took in $303 million domestically. Desolation Of Smaug also is expected to churn out the same overall cume internationally, $714.5 million. Read More »