With zero competitors in sight, it was a formality for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to grab the #1 spot around the world. Meanwhile in 2nd we have an absolutely gigantic opening from a Chinese film.
Hobbit-mania is in full force once again after this new trilogy starter moved $138 million internationally at the box office. That’s certainly not enough to break any records (for now) but it still qualifies as a very impressive opening which in total accounts to $244.7 million worldwide. Directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is showing in theaters from 56 territories, leaving quite a few more to open the flick in the coming weeks. Either way expect the 3D adventure to steamroll over its competitors in the next 2-3 weeks. It’s maybe too soon to tell precisely at this point, but the first Hobbit film might still end up above the $1 billion mark. A less optimistic prediction here would probably call for at least $900 million worldwide, so again a good enough number, if a bit disappointing when looking back at The Lord of the Rings trilogy and what that did without 3D a decade ago.
In 2nd we have Lost in Thailand, a Chinese film that apparently opened with $48.4 million. According to IMDB this is a comedy directed by Xu Zheng and starring the same Xu Zheng as well as Huang Bo and Wang Baoqiang among others. But don’t take my word for it, check the film’s trailer here. Now according to me, $48.4 million is a lot of money (even by North American box office standards) so they must have done something right there.
Rise of the Guardians fell to 3rd with $20.9 million for an international total of $120.3 million. Worldwide the animation is looking at $192.6 million, not too shabby but still far from where it should be.
4th place belongs to One Piece Film Z, a Japanese animation with $ 16.3 million. A great start but we’ve certainly seen higher numbers coming from there.
Rounding out the top 5 is once again Skyfall, down 41% to $12.3 million. Internationally the latest Bond flick has $678.7 million which makes it the 3rd highest grosser of all time among 2D releases, behind only Titanic and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Worldwide the current number is $952.2 million, soon to pass $1 billion (it opens in China in January). Now this is sort of insane, having a James Bond film reach such heights, just like that, out of the blue. Now expectations for the next Bond will match those we’ve had in the past for Harry Potter films, so not easy to meet or exceed. But as long as they can keep the films on the same quality level as Skyfall, I think everything will be alright.