It came a day late, but “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” has given Warner Bros. a box-office Christmas present, blasting past the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office Thursday.
It’s a gift that will keep on giving and “Smaug,” from New Line and MGM, has a good shot at hitting the $1 billion mark at the global box office, as “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” did last year.
The second film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy, which is a prequel to his “Lord of the Rings” series, was heading for its third straight U.S. box office weekend win, after finishing No. 1 Thursday with $10.5 million. That upped its domestic total to $160 million, and it has brought in more than $340 million from overseas since opening on Dec. 13.
“Smaug” is following the path of the first “Hobbit” film, which took in $714 million — roughly 70 percent of its total — from abroad, with $303 million coming from North America.
The biggest of the 57 foreign markets in which “Smaug” has played are Germany ($19 million) the U.K. ($15 million) and France ($13 million). It will open in Japan and China in February.