Its domestic numbers weren’t too shabby, breaking the December opening weekend record with $84 million, but even with that context, the global numbers for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” are gangbusters. The first installment of Peter Jackson’s latest Tolkien adaptation opened up in 56 international markets this weekend, and has bagged 2012’s fourth biggest opening with $138.2 million to take the global total in just three days to $223 million.
The film was most warmly received in the UK (which, it should be noted, was one of the few territories to really embrace the HFR-3D version of the film in terms of the percentage of screens it played on) with an $18.3 million opening, and a record-breaking IMAX bow. Other big markets included Germany, France, Korea and Spain, while ‘The Hobbit’ registered the second biggest opening of all time at the Swedish box office, and broke the IMAX record in four other territories to reach a $5 million total gross in that format.
As was the case domestically, “Rise of the Guardians” sat in the second spot a ways behind ‘The Hobbit’ and took in less than 10% of the Martin Freeman-starring picture. Tim from “The Office” has come a long way! $1 billion worldwide now looks like a formality (a number “Skyfall” is also edging ever closer to after passing $950 million this weekend), which makes three films seem like an increasingly great decision to Warner Bros investors. There’s a year to wait until the second entry, but until then we’ll be undoubtedly showered with featurettes that will eventually show up on the Extended Edition DVD, and two more have shown up today. These two promise to explore the visual effects and sound design of the movie, complete with a Wilhelm scream. Take a look behind the scenes below. [THR/MovieWeb/SoundWorks]