J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation is precious with foreign audiences
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” added more loot to its worldwide box office haul Thursday, racking up $15.2 million in Germany, Mexico, the United Kingdom and other foreign territories.
In its second day of release, the fantasy sequel has earned $24 million at the foreign box office.
It opened to $8.8 million in midnight showings domestically, and is expected to generate nearly $80 million at the U.S. and Canadian box office over the weekend.
The film has currently debuted in 32 foreign territories and should premiere in nearly 50 by the end of the weekend, including such major markets as Australia and Russia.
Warner Bros., which is distributing the film, was quick to tout signs that foreign audiences are eager to return to Middle Earth, noting that Germany scored its biggest opening of the year, powering “The Desolation of Smaug” to $3.4 million on 1,462 screens, while Mexico and New Zealand also saw the film climb to the top of the charts, pulling in $901,000 and $575,000 respectively.
The sequel has been bolstered by stronger reviews than its predecessor, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” but is debuting in fewer international territories during its opening week. It also won't premiere in the world's second and third largest film markets, China and Japan, until next year.
That screen deficit means that “The Desolation of Smaug” is unlikely to eclipse the $138 million opening that the first “Hobbit” film enjoyed overseas. Whether or not it can dwarf the first film's $1 billion gross may not be clear until it wraps up its run in Asia.