Global Box Office: Final 'Hobbit' Film Earns Stellar $117.6 Million in Early Foreign Launch

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies Still 5 - H 2014
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies Still 5 - H 2014

The final installment in Peter Jackson's trilogy opened in 37 markets, while 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay' took in $16 million overseas

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies soared to a fantastic $117.6 million in 37 foreign markets this weekend, a strong start for the final installment in Peter Jackson's trilogy.

The Battle of the Five Armies' foreign total surpasses the first weekends of the previous two Hobbit films, which opened in December for the past two years.

The film, based on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, did stellar business in Imax theaters, earning $6.4 million on the first 160 Imax screens, mostly based in Europe and the Middle East, resulting in a terrific $40,000 per-screen average. It set a record for the best international Imax December opening, topping The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey's $5.025 million in 2012. In the U.K., Battle of the Five Armies had the second biggest Imax opening weekend ever.

In the U.K, the third film took 66 percent of the top five with $15.15 million (£9.7m) and 1.4 million admissions from 1,490 screens. The Battle of the Five Armies came in on par with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, for the biggest opening weekend of the Middle Earth saga. 

The Battle of the Five Armies also did stellar business in Germany, grossing an outstanding $19.5 million (€15.9m) with 1.46 million admissions (including previews) on 1,442 screens. These results surpassed An Unexpected Journey by 22 percent and Desolation of Smaug by 15 percent. 

The film, starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage, also performed strongly in France ($14.5 million), Brazil ($17.9 million), Mexico ($17.9 million) and Russia, where it was the biggest Warner Bros. opening ever, with an estimated $13.4 million plus 2.4 million admissions from 2,385 screens. The film also had strong openings across Scandinavia, which generated $14.84 million across the four markets, with a new industry opening record in Finland.

From New Line and MGM, Battle of the Five Armies will hit U.S. theaters via Warner Bros. on Wednesday, Dec. 17. It will expand to Italy, Spain and South Korea on the same day, and into Australia on Dec. 26 and China on Jan. 23.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1's strong business overseas helped Lionsgate pass the $1 billion mark for the third year in a row this weekend. The YA adaptation earned $16 million from 86 markets this weekend, with the top grossing markets including the U.K., Germany and Australia. That brings the foreign total to $334 million. Brazil has surpassed the lifetime of Catching Fire, as well as Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Central America, Portugal, Vietnam and other 18 territories.

Along with topping the domestic box office this weekend, Exodus: Gods and Kings has earned $18.8 million from 6,096 screens in 27 markets. The film is No. 1 in 13 markets, with the International total crossing $50 million. South Korea ($3.2 million from 665) leads all markets, with Taiwan ($1.75m from 155) opening 15p percent ahead of the market’s respective Noah opening. The Biblibal epic also did well in Mexico ($2.2 million from 1,676), Spain ($1.7 million from 643) and Australia ($1.4 million from 516).Markets for next weekend include Belgium and Holland, and Brazil, Germany, Sweden and UK the following weekend

Disney's Big Hero 6 opened in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Iceland and Hong Kong this weekend. It earned $3.9 million, making the film's new foreign total $68.2 million for a worldwide tally of $253.5 million. Next weekend, it will expand into Italy, Spain, Japan, Portugal and Switzerland. 

Space epic Interstellar grossed another $11.4 million this weekend, with 1.44 million admissions on nearly 6,200 screens in 62 territories. After the sixth weekend of release, the international tally to date is estimated to be a bog $455 million. The film ended its run in China after 31 days in release with a total of $122.87 million (Rmb 752m).