“The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies” stormed its way to a $49.5 million debut in China.
The strong results from the People’s Republic pushed the final “Hobbit” film to the top of the overseas charts this weekend. It posted $54.3 million from 61 markets, pushing its worldwide haul to $866.5 million.
The latest J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation has been undermined by global currency issues. In many territories, such as Russia, it has drawn larger crowds than previous installments, but the strength of the dollar, the decline of the euro and the ruble’s freefall are resulting in lower receipts. China does not have that issue, which must be a relief to MGM and Warner Bros., the studios behind “The Hobbit” movies.
It wasn’t all hobbits, orcs and elves. Fox’s “Taken 3” also continued to perform well overseas, with Liam Neeson’s latest exercise in vigilantism racking up $26.3 million from 57 markets. That was good enough for a second place finish. Among notable openings, “Taken 3” bowed to $8.2 million in France, $2.1 million in Brazil and $364,576 in Ecuador. “Taken 3,” allegedly the final installment in the action series, has earned $227.4 million worldwide.
Domestic chart topper “American Sniper” continued to perform well overseas, picking up $17.6 million while opening in 17 new markets such as Australia, Sweden, Denmark and Hong Kong. Its success is surprising given that films with a perceived pro-U.S.A. sensibility don’t always do robust business abroad. The biopic about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has earned $247.6 million globally.
Rounding out the top five, Disney’s “Big Hero 6” picked up $14.9 million, pushing the animated film to $456 million worldwide, while DreamWorks Animation’s “Penguins of Madagascar” nabbed $9 million, bringing its total to $321.3 million.