Latest 'Hobbit' Film Marks Warner Bros.' Biggest Opening in Russia

However, the film fell short of setting a new box-office record for an opening weekend

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has become Warner's biggest opening in Russia but fell short of setting a new box-office milestone.

The third installment in Peter Jackson's Hobbit saga opened on 2,390 screens on Thursday, grossing $2.49 million on the opening night. The figure was 50 percent ahead of the debut performance of the previous installment, The Desolation of Smaug, and accounted for 88 percent of the night's total gross.

The impressive start prompted analysts at the local trade journal Exhibitor's Bulletin to suggest that the movie could be up for the most successful starting weekend ever.

However, no new box-office record was registered, as The Battle of the Five Armies grossed $13.5 million (735 million rubles) over the first weekend and failed to beat the fourth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, which grossed 749 million rubles in May 2011. Incidentally, the ruble has lost more than 80 percent of its value since then, making the new Hobbit movie's performance much less impressive in dollar terms.

Still, the first weekend's performance of The Battle of the Five Armies was considerably better in ruble terms than that of the previous Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug, which grossed 539 million rubles in December 2013 and the saga's first installment, An Unexpected Journey, which grossed 474 million rubles in December 2012.

The new Hobbit film was also the weekend's highest grossing movie.

This year's highest grossing movie in Russia to date is Transformers: Age of Extinction with a gross of $37.6 million.