The Halfling from Shire set off on an adventure last year, with nothing more than a desire to step out of his lands and a courage in his heart to face the toughest of obstacles. That adventure has gone wonderfully well so far! Peter Jackson’s tales about the Middle-Earth are no Halflings of Hollywood, but as mighty and monstrous as the fire-breathing dragon in his latest movie. So it is no surprise that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug topped the box-office with an estimated $73.7 million earnings on its opening weekend in North America. That is still less than the $84.6 million earned last year by its predecessor The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Which is not surprising. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had released nine years after The Lord of the Rings series wrapped up, so there was simply too much anticipation and excitement around the new movie that would take the fans back to Middle-Earth. The movie was great in its own way, but for many it did not match up to the grandeur of the preceding trilogy. So a bit of dip was expected when The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug came. It is still a strong opening for the movie, the ninth best opening weekend for 2013. Now The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had completed its domestic run by earning just more than $300 million. The sequel is not going to hit that mark, but should be seeking a $250 million domestic total at least by the end of its theatrical run. But the production budget of the film is being stated as high as $225 million. So where would the profits come from?
Outside the USA. The movies of the Middle-Earth have a large following across the globe, and the first movie of The Hobbit franchise had raked in $700 million odd from the foreign markets itself, pushing the movie’s worldwide earnings beyond the richly coveted $1 billion mark. It is this foreign run where The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug would want its engines to go all out blazing. The first weekend opening in the international markets has brought in $131 million, and there are still quite a few territories to go and many more weekends. So let’s see how much gold this hobbit is able to pocket in!
There was another new release over the weekend, written / directed / produced by Tyler Perry and of course, starring Tyler Perry too. Called Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas. Tyler Perry has got his own set of fan following, not as mammoth as the ones for the Peter Jackson movies, but a dedicated base nonetheless. So somehow the movie raked in $16 million, putting it in third position at the box-office, sandwiched between Frozen and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The movie had the weakest opening figures amongst the five movies of the Madea series by Perry. Even going by the collections of the other Tyler Perry films, this one would be closer to the bottom pile. So not the best one from the Tyler Perry brand, but then there is always another one around the corner, isn’t there?
2013 is estimated to be winning the battle against 2012 by a very slender margin (0.2% up) and with only two weekends left, this fight could be seeing a tight finish indeed!
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($73.7 million)
2. Frozen ($22.2 million; third weekend)
3. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas ($16.0 million)
4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($13.2 million; fourth weekend)
5. Thor: The Dark World ($2.7 million; sixth weekend)