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New Line and MGM’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has secured a China release date — Feb. 22.
Executives working in Warner Bros.’ international division had been waiting to hear from Chinese officials as to when Peter Jackson’s 3D tentpole would open (Warners is New Line’s parent company).
A strong China run should guarantee that The Hobbit’ crosses the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office. Through Sunday, the film has crossed $278.2 million domestically and $609.3 million worldwide for a total $887.5 million.
Hollywood tentpoles — and especially those released in 3D — have been doing huge business in China, where moviegoing is flourishing thanks to an exploding middle class.
Ang Lee’s Life of Pi recently took in $90.8 million in China, while the 3D re-release of Titanic raked in $150 million last year.
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