Wellington Scoop

Box office records in USA as well as NZ – The Hobbit proves its popularity

Peter Jackson’s first Hobbit feature has had a record-breaking opening weekend in the United States.

Not only has it exceeded the opening figures for each of the three Lord of the Rings features, its box office of over $US84m has set a new US record for a December weekend. Better even than the opening of Avatar.

“It is great to see Peter’s fans return, along with a new generation of that is embracing Middle-earth,” Warners president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman told the Hollywood Reporter. “We expect a long and exciting run.”

LA Times: word of mouth is strong

Wellington.Scoop – December 13
Peter Jackson’s first Hobbit feature has set an opening day New Zealand box-office record. The film’s ticket sales totalled $782,695 in the 24 hours after its release at midnight on Wednesday. This gives it the biggest non-holiday Wednesday opening in New Zealand history. Its takings exceed The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which grossed $757,887 on opening day and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring which grossed $720,993.

Roadshow Film Distributors managing director Joel Pearlman says he is happy with the film’s reception. “We are thrilled that the film has already resonated so positively with so many New Zealanders.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was shown on 203 screens in 98 locations from Kaitaia to Invercargill – the widest release ever in New Zealand.

The Hollywood Reporter says The Hobbit will open in the United States and Canada at 12:01 a.m. on Friday in 3,100 theaters, a record for December. Pre-release tracking suggests it could gross in the $US75 million to $90 million range for the weekend. By Friday morning, The Hobbit will be playing in 4,045 North American cinemas, also a record number for December.

Principal photography on The Hobbit trilogy began in Wellington in March last year.