'The Hobbit 2' Opens at Number One in Japan

5:22 AM PST 03/03/2014 by Gavin J. Blair
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

The film took $3.1 million on Saturday and Sunday, outperforming the local opening of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in 2012 by more than 40 percent.

TOKYO -- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug bowed at number one over the weekend in Japan, taking an impressive $3.1 million (¥313 million) on Saturday and Sunday, with 244,500 admissions from 681 screens.

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The Desolation of Smaug not only bested the Japanese opening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by more than 40 percent, but it also knocked The Mole Song -- Undercover Agent Reiji off the top spot after two weekends despite Takashi Miike's latest increasing its take by 8 percent. Part of the attraction of the latest Hobbit installment appears to lie in Benedict Cumberbatch -- the voice of Smaug -- who has become a big hit with Japanese audiences.

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Children's fantasy Kiki's Delivery Service (Majo no Takyubin) opened in the third spot with $1.26 million (¥128 million) from 281 screens. This live-action version directed by Takashi Shimizu (Grudge) is based on the same novel by Eiko Kadono and bears the same title as the 1989 anime from Hayao Miyazaki.

Kick-Ass 2 dropped to seventh after bowing last weekend in fifth.

Twitter: @GavinJBlair

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