Box Office Report: 'Hobbit' Scores Record Wednesday Opening in New Zealand

5:13 PM PST 12/12/2012 by Pamela McClintock
Warner Bros. Pictures

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" opens around the world this weekend.

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened to $643K in New Zealand on Wednesday, marking the biggest non-holiday opening for a Wednesday.

New Zealand, of course, is a captive audience, being Jackson's native country and home to the Hobbit production. The film, from New Line and MGM, is going out through Warner Bros.

Hobbit opens in North America at 12:01 a.m. Friday in 3,100 theaters, a record for December. Pre-release tracking suggests the tentpole could gross in the $75 million to $90 million range for the weekend.

By Friday morning, Hobbit will be playing in 4,045 theaters, also a record number for December. That includes 3,160 3D theaters and 461 theaters where the film will play in the 48 frames-per-second format.

Overseas, Hobbit is opening in a total of 55 markets this weekend, although not in Australia and China.

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