Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug

Strong international performance mirrors 'An Unexpected Journey'

Fueled by foreign fans, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” has crossed the $500 million mark in worldwide grosses.

“Smaug,” co-produced by New Line and MGM, hit the milestone in two weeks after its day-and-date launch in nearly all markets.

Peter Jackson’s tentpole has been leading the U.S. market ever since with grosses crossing the $160 million mark as of Thursday, when it took in over $10 million in its 14th day.

Internationally, “Smaug” has eclipsed $340 million in 57 markets, led by strong U.K. grosses that have been on a par with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” ‘Smaug” opened in Australia on Boxing Day on Thursday with $4.9 million.

The actual total was $504 million — $160.5 million domestically and $343.5 million internationally with Warner Bros. domestic distribution topper Dan Fellman predicting a strong run for several more weeks.

“Peter Jackson has delivered the perfect holiday treat for moviegoers,” he said. “We anticipate that the film will continue to have terrific playability well into the new year as more people join in the adventure or return to experience it again and again.”

The impressive foreign box office for “Smaug” mirrors that of the first “Hobbit” film, which took in over 70% of its coin internationally with $714 million to go along with a U.S. cume of $303 million. “An Unexpected Journey” is the 16th highest worldwide and one of only 17 films to crack the $1 billion worldwide mark.

“Smaug” opens in China on Feb 21 and in Japan on Feb 28.

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