Global Box Office: Final 'Hobbit' Nears $600M in Early Run

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies'

Elsewhere, Shawn Levy's 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' crosses $100 million

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was the No. 1 title of the Christmas holiday, finishing Sunday with worldwide earnings of $573.6 million.

In North America, the New Line and MGM tentpole topped the holiday chart with a three-day gross of $41.4, pushing its 12-day domestic total to $168.5 million. The final Hobbit film also remained the dominant player overseas, grossing another $89.2 million from 62 markets for an international cume of $405.1 million. That included a $10.1 million debut in Australia.

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In many markets, Five Armies is outpacing the first two installments in Jackson's trilogy, sparking hope that it will match or exceed the $1.01 billion earned two years ago by the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The success of Jackson's film helped New Line parent company Warner Bros. cross $3 billion in foreign ticket sales for the seventh year.

Elsewhere, Fox's family-friendly Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb crossed the $100 million mark globally, grossing $20.1 million domestically in its second weekend and $30.3 million overseas from 40 markets for a worldwide total of $103.9 million. The threequel reunites director Shawn Levy with Ben Stiller and the late Robin Williams.

Fox's other holiday tentpole, Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings, is faring better overseas than in the U.S. Internationally, the biblical epic earned $31 million from 39 markets over Christmas weekend, compared to $6.8 million domestically. Exodus, starring Christian Bale as Moses, has earned $149.5 million worldwide to date but will need to do far more to make up for its $140 million production budget and a hefty marketing spend.

In the Catholic-minded Brazil, Exodus opened to $6.7 million, the second-highest Fox opening of all time. It also did nicely in France ($5.3 million).

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Both Exodus and Night at the Museum, along with other holiday films, are holding off launching in numerous markets until Hobbit has slowed. Not surprisingly, several Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, have banned Exodus.

Disney's Big Hero 6 continued its international rollout, grossing a pleasing $24.7 million from 51 territories for a foreign total of $120.9 million. In North America, the animated film took in $4.9 million to all but crack the $200 million mark for a worldwide cume of $320.8 million.

Sony musical Annie, starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis, grossed $5.9 million from 21 foreign markets for a foreign total of $8.2 million and early global cume of $54 million (Sony is sharing overseas duties with Village Roadshow). Noteworthy openings included the U.K. ($3.6 million). 

Angelina Jolie's Unbroken grossed $2.7 million as it opened in only two foreign markets, Spain ($1.6 million) and the U.K. ($1.1 million). In North America, the movie, based on Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling biography of World War II hero Louis Zamperini, opened to a rousing $47.3 million in its first four days.

Disney's Into the Woods, opening to an equally impressive $46.1 million domestically, grossed $1.6 million from six markets for an early foreign total of $2.7 million.

Elsewhere, Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, which became only the second release of 2014 after Guardians of the Galaxy to jump the $300 million mark in North America, finished Sunday with a global cume of $669.7 million.

Bollywood blockbuster P.K. hit $77 million in global ticket sales, including a 10-day, record-breaking gross of $7.9 million in the U.S. 

In China, The Taking of Tiger Mountain, debuting on Dec. 23, took in a rousing $41 million through Sunday.

And British film Paddington, from StudioCanal, hit $75 million in international ticket sales after earning another $12 million over the weekend. The Weinstein Co. opens Paddington in the U.S. on Jan. 16.