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The movie, from New Line and MGM, began rolling out Wednesday overseas. It landed at the domestic box office at 12:01 a.m. Friday, grossing $13 million, the best midnight showing ever in December.
Overseas, Hobbit grossed $3.4 million in preview showings in the U.K., capturing 68 percent of the market. The film’s two-day German total is $4 million, and it has earned $3.6 million in France since opening Wednesday.
Hobbit, distributed by New Line parent Warner Bros., opened to $1.2 million in Korea on Thursday and $874,000 in Italy.
The movie, based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit, is the first in a planned trilogy.
Starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and returning Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf from Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies, Hobbit is set 60 years before the events chronicled in those Tolkien adaptations.
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