The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has crossed $1 billion worldwide

The_Hobbit-_An_Unexpected_Journey_74Box Office Mojo is listing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as having passed the $1 billion mark worldwide, having earned $301 million in the United States and an estimated $700 million overseas.  It was The Hobbit’s success in China (grossing $37.3 million in 10 days) that pushed it over the top.

I predict that The Desolation of Smaug will beat An Unexpected Journey’s final number by at least a hundred million.  AUJ hit the right notes of whimsy, drama and LOTR nostalgia more often than not, and the upcoming blu-ray/dvd release will further grow the audience for the sequel. The second film’s gross will also be bolstered by an increased spectacle factor thanks to the showcasing of WETA’s Smaug, who will surely take his place alongside Gollum, King Kong, and the Na’vi as a groundbreaking achievement in character creation / visual effects.

The Hobbit 2nd weekend box office; stays #1; Thurs: passes $500 million

UPDATE: Thursday 12/26/12: New Line Cinema has announced that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has passed the $500 million mark worldwide, having so far grossed $179.7 million in the United States and $344 million internationally (helped by a record Boxing Day haul in Australia) for a total of $523.7 million.  Christmas Day and Thursday’s numbers in the United States (each $11.3 million) were significantly stronger than Wednesday and Thursday from last week ($7.8 million and 6.3 million).  I expect it to continue attracting a big audience through New Years Day and have a solid tail well into February.

UPDATE: Wednesday 12/26/12: The Hobbit made $96 million internationally from 59 markets this past weekend, including a very strong $17.6 million from its Russian debut.  This is a total of $288.5 million internationally as of Monday, and $456.8 worldwide.

UPDATE: Tuesday, 12/25/12: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has reached $438.5 million worldwide. Still waiting for final weekend numbers.

UPDATE: Monday, 12/24/12:  Estimates have The Hobbit making $36.7 million in the US this weekend.  This would represent a 57% drop from last weekend.  Final numbers should be available soon.  Although this 10-day gross of $149.9 million is lower than that of The Two Towers ($168.1 million) and Return of the King ($190.8 million), keep in mind that those two films opened on December 18, a week later than The Hobbit, and thus would have had a higher gross based on opening on a traditionally stronger weekend that falls during (or close to) the holiday break period for many.  In any event, I expect the The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again to perform significantly more strongly given the fact that An Unexpected Journey is almost entirely comprised of setup for the following two films.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will remain #1 at the United States box office this weekend, having taken in $10.2 million on Friday from 4,100 screens according to estimates.

This is a 73% drop from last Friday’s haul, but the weekend-to-weekend drop should be a good deal lower due to last Friday’s front loading.  The Hobbit is performing very strongly worldwide: according to Deadline The Hobbit’s international haul was already at $189 million as of Thursday. Add this to the $123 million it’s pulled in domestically and you have an impressive $312 million worldwide. The Hobbit opened in Russia and the Ukraine over the past 2 days, so it’ll get a large boost from those markets when their results come in. It opens in Australia next week and China at a to-be-determined future date.

It’ll be interesting to watch the weekday (including Christmas day) numbers next week. I believe they’ll be high given the week off of work that many people will have. And I’d love to see more details regarding the performance of the HFR 3D showings both in the United States and overseas.  Hopefully WB will provide some details soon.

I’ll be updating this post throughout the weekend as more numbers come in.

The Hobbit weekend box office: HFR 3D has highest per-screen average among the formats

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey brought in $84,617,303 from 4,045 screens at the United States box office this weekend for a per screen average of $20,919, according to final counts. This beats I Am Legend‘s previous record of $77.2 million as well as Return of The King‘s $73.3 million, although it is lower than those two when inflation and 3D ticket sales premiums are taken into account.

Overseas The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey earned $138.2 million for a worlwide total of $222,817,303. Its biggest non-US markets were the UK ($18.3 million), Germany ($16.3 million), and France ($12.7 million). See Box Office Mojo for more country-by-country breakdowns. The international results are lower than Return of the King’s from 2003, and while it may not catch that movie in terms of worldwide box office, it will at least get close: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has still not yet opened in quite a few large markets including Russia (where it opens on Dec. 19), Australia (Dec. 26), and China (date not yet announced). And The Hobbit’s “A” CinemaScore (“A+” for people aged 18 and younger) along with the relative lack of competition over the holidays will keep it going strong for months. If The Hobbit has Return of the King’s 5x multiplier it will eventually make well over $423 million in the United States alone. By the end of next weekend we should have a very good idea of where it will end up.

3D showings made up 49 percent of ticket sales this weekend, which according to Box Office Mojo is about the standard for most major releases these days. As for the box office performance of HFR 3D showings, Warner Bros. has not yet released numbers, but Box Office Mojo says that from what they’ve heard from other sources the results for HFR are looking good:

Warner Bros. isn’t currently providing a breakdown for the high-frame-rate (HFR), though a distribution executive there suggested it had the highest per-screen average among the three main formats (2D, 3D, HFR 3D). That may not sound overly convincing, but IMAX is reporting that HFR did $44,000 per-theater compared to $31,000 at regular IMAX 3D locations. Overall, IMAX contributed an estimated $10.1 million (12 percent) this weekend.

Stay tuned for more details on the HFR 3D box office.   I expect the numbers to be good, and also for there to be a continuing, long-legged interested in the new format through the holidays and well into the new year.  I’d bet that HFR 3D showings will attract a steady flow of curious moviegoers and repeat viewers for the life of the release.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: $37.5 million Friday, breaks records

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey brought in $37.5 million Friday in the United States for an estimated $90 million weekend. This shatters the all-time records for domestic box office on a December weekend as well as domestic December Friday. The finalized weekend box office will be available Monday morning.

It played in 4,045 locations in the United States, according to Box Office Mojo. Hopefully we’ll soon get an official count of the number of domestic and international HFR 3D screens and the average sales for those screens in comparison to standard 3D and 2D.

The movie received an “A” from CinemaScore audiences, giving it likely long legs through the Holidays and into the new year.

There’s a good chance that the HFR screenings will have little drop off next weekend due to word of mouth. This is the first time since Avatar that there’s been such a novel experiene to be had in the theater…people want to be a part of the growing conversation and debate, so even the skeptical ones will be seeing this.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be the only way to see 48 fps on the big screen until next year’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, so I expect the 48 fps showings to be packed for quite some time.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey makes $12.4 million from midnight showings

UPDATE 5.30 pm PST: Deadline reports that The Hobbit has already taken in $27.3 million from 42 international markets, and estimates that it may end the weekend with over $200 million worldwide. reports that ticket sales for The Hobbit accounted for 91% of all of their sales leading into Friday, with 18% purchasing tickets for standard 3D, 8% for HFR 3D, and 7% IMAX.

If these HFR numbers hold up, then we’re looking at a much stronger per-screen average for HFR 3D theaters when compared to standard 3D or 2D.

Original: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is poised to break the record for a December opening, having taken in $12.4 million from midnight showings.

The current December record holder is I Am Legend, which made $77.2 million in its opening weekend. Avatar, which took in $3.5 million from midnights, is #2 with $77 million. So it’s pretty clear that The Hobbit is going to break the record.

Stay tuned for more on The Hobbit’s box office. We should be hearing soon about the number/proportion of sales that came from HFR 3D screenings.