‘Les Miserables’ Tops ‘The Hobbit’ in Japan Box-Office Debut

The early numbers for "Les Miserables" in Japan compare with those of an earlier Universal blockbuster, "Mamma Mia"

"Les Miserables" opened this weekend in Japan ahead of holdovers "The Hobbit" and "Skyfall."

Universal's star-studded musical took in $4.2 million from 348 locations in Japan, its first international market. It also screened in paid previews in Korea.

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The numbers are a small sampling but encouraging for Universal, because they compare with those of another well-known musical brought to the screen by the studio, "Mamma Mia." That movie grossed more than $600 million worldwide in 2008.

"Les Miserables" opens in the U.S. and Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Spain on Christmas Day, followed by Australia on Wednesday and Hungary on Thursday.  The rest of the international will release in come 2013, including the U.K. and Ireland on Jan. 11.

Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe star in "Les Miserables," which is directed by Tom Hooper.

The studio received more good "Les Miserables" news over the weekend. In its first day of sales, "Les Miserables" is the top soundtrack and No. 3 album on iTunes. “I Dreamed A Dream” is leading soundtrack song and No. 1 on Amazon.'s Movers and Shakers list.Les