‘The Hobbit’ Sequel to Bring Home Treasure at Worldwide Box Office

The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug

Warner Bros. tentpole, opening in 49 territories Wednesday, will likely cross $80 million this weekend in the U.S.

Warner Bros.-New Line’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” began its global domination at the box office Wednesday before arriving in the U.S. on Friday for what is expected to be an $80 million-plus weekend Stateside.

Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” sequel, from MGM, opened in 49 foreign territories on Wednesday and earned $2.8 million opening day in France to become the top-selling movie that day in the country.

Domestic expectations for “Smaug,” meanwhile, are on track to perform in line with the original, which grossed $84 million this time last year.

“The Hobbit” launches in the U.S. Thursday at midnight.

Internationally, “Smaug” is tracking lower than the first film’s $139 million overseas start, but that’s because Warners is launching the sequel in fewer day-and-date territories than “An Unexpected Journey,” which debuted in 56 markets. That said, word-of-mouth has been strong for the sequel, meaning it could overperform this weekend in the major markets like Germany, Italy, South Korea, Spain and the U.K.

Moreover, “Smaug” will have a larger footprint in the premium-priced high-frame-rate format, with an estimated 3,000 HFR-capable locations overseas — nearly twice the number of total screens for the premium format for the first “Hobbit” film.

Exhibitors and box office observers anticipate “Smaug” will match, at least, its predecessor’s $303 million domestic tally. The sequel also is expected to reach the $1 billion global total set by the first film.

The film’s overseas rollout kick-starts in eight major markets, with several others including Australia and Russia set for next weekend. Japan launches the film in late February. (Warners still is waiting on official confirmation out of China.)

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  1. It doesn’t arrive in Australia until Dec 26 sadly, so we’ve got well over a well to go

  2. MCS says:

    Watched it yesterday (Dec. 11) first day it came out here in the Philippines – and it is excellent!!! Does not feel like a film pushing close to three hours at all. Watch it I say, and now I cannot wait for the final installment! Kudos again to Peter Jackson et al!

  3. Rod Smith says:

    Didnt the sequel cost a whole lot more than the 1st installment though? What constitutes a good result here?

  4. WHOAAAA!

    S/P did I understand that correctly?

    SOMETHING POSITIVE out of “salsa pants”? OR just tired of finding coal everytime you hang up your STOCKING?

    Keep Smilin’
    SANTA LOVES U…..but I bet it ain’t easy. ;-)

  5. It doesn’t arrive in Australia until Dec 26 sadly, so we’ve got well over a well to go

  6. salsa pants says:

    Yessiree, I will be on hand at the 12:01am IMAX showing in Orlando working for a major studio – can’t wait to watch Smaug!

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