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Box Office: ‘The Hobbit’ Tops $700 Million Globally

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” marched past the $700 million mark globally and dominated the foreign box office for the fourth week in a row.

Peter Jackson’s farewell to orcs, dragons and magical rings earned $52.2 million over the weekend from 65 markets.

The film earned distributor Warner Bros. it’s biggest opening of all time in Argentina, with $2.1 million. The picture continued to perform well in Germany, where it took $7.4 million; the United Kingdom with $5.1 million; and France with $3.9 million. It was also the highest-grossing U.S. release for a third consecutive week.

The Hobbit’s” worldwide total stands at $722.9 million. The film has yet to open in China, the world’s second largest film market. It debuts there on Jan. 23.

“The Hobbit” cast a big shadow across the global box office, but runner-up “Exodus: Gods and Kings” was still able to draw crowds overseas. The biblical epic has floundered in its domestic release and needs foreign moviegoers to push it to profitability. The story of Moses made some progress in that regard, generating $31.5 million from 51 markets. It opened in six new markets, including Russia, where it picked up $8 million. There are six additional debuts scheduled for the month, including such major territories as Italy and Japan.

Third place winner “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” has also struggled in its Stateside release, but is benefiting from the increasingly global nature of the film business. The family film picked up $26 million from 56 markets, raising its international total to $92.4 million. It debuts in China on Sunday.

Fourth and fifth place were held by “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” and “Penguins of Madagascar,” respectively. “Tiger Mountain,” an action epic set during the Chinese civil war, earned $23.7 million, while “Penguins” drew $23 million.

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