Dominating Boxing Day box office in Australia, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” opened there with a whopping estimated $4.9 million, making for the holiday’s second-largest opening ever in Oz.
“The Desolation of Smaug,” which accounted for 60% of the country’s top five market share, landed in Australia only 7% behind its predecessor, “An Unexpected Journey,” the Boxing Day record holder locally.
Internationally, “Smaug” — the second installment in the Warner-New Line-MGM “Hobbit” trilogy — is approaching $300 million from 57 markets, lifting the film’s worldwide haul to nearly $450 million. Domestically, “Smaug” edged out Paramount’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” for top B.O. on Christmas Day, with $9.3 million.
The stellar start in Oz is not surprising given the success of the original. Pic’s opening-day gross there lags its predecessor’s by the same margin as in the States.
Regardless, the gross positions “Smaug” for a healthy holiday run in Australia, where the first film made nearly $44 million locally. If “Smaug” continues to trail the first film by 7%, then it should cume around $40 million.