UPDATE, FRIDAY 3:11 PM PT: As The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies continues to roll out overseas, planet Earth is becoming dominated by Middle-earth. The finale to Peter Jackson’s big-footed trilogy opened in 17 markets Thursday with No. 1s across the board. Grossing a total $13.7M in 28 markets, the cume at Thursday’s close was $26.6M. In an impressive feat, the Russian bow on Thursday saw the film take nearly 100% of the share of the Top 5 films in the market, Warner says. That was worth $2.5M on 2,285 screens and is the biggest opening of all time for a Warner Bros film there. The debut was 50% ahead of the last installment, The Desolation Of Smaug, and 80% above An Unexpected Journey. This finale packs a lot of extra punch for Hobbit fans. Not only has it been well-reviewed, it’s intended to be the last time we’ll see members of the Baggins family and their various cronies/enemies striving forth.
Elsewhere, Brazil debuted to $1.3M on 1,037 screens, taking 76% of the top five films. Including sneaks, the cume to date is now $1.8M. Mexico opened to $1.1M on about 2,775 screens, controlling 72% of the Top 5 films in the market, while facing off with the local soccer league finale. Five Armies is tracking 39% higher than HDOS in the market.
Down Under in New Zealand, where the films were made, BOTFA was the widest release ever on 205 screens and delivered the biggest opening of the year with $529K.
In Eastern Europe, there was a collective $1.5M for Bilbo, Thorin & Co on Thursday in 9 markets.
Day two grosses were also strong with Germany adding $2.1M on 1,442 screens, surpassing HAUJ by 12%. The cume is now $5.3M. France grossed $1.5M on 914 screens, holding 69% of the Top 5 market share. Thursday results are 15% ahead of HDOS and 22% ahead of HAUJ. The cume to date is $4.2M.
The UK opens today (Friday), followed by Japan on Saturday. I’ll be back over the weekend with updated numbers and analysis.
PREVIOUS, THURSDAY, 6:26 PM PT: Warner Bros International’s The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies stormed through most of Europe in its opening day Wednesday, racking up $11.3M and No. 1s in 11 territories as well as charting the biggest opening day of 2014 in eight countries: Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and all four Scandinavian territories. Germany collected $3.2M on 1,442 screens, including Tuesday midnight sneak previews, besting the first days of Transformers: Age Of Extinction by 47%, and kicking Katniss (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1) down by 86%. France minted a precious $2.7M or 278k admissions off 914 screens, and with sneaks counts $2.8M (282k admissions).
In other markets:
Sweden (MGM) drew $1.5M on 443 screens, 5% over Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug and 9% ahead of Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Norway (MGM) grossed $1.03m on 311. That’s the second-biggest opening day of all time behind Harry Potter And The Dealthy Hallows – Part 2. B.O. is 9% ahead of HDOS and 8% ahead of HAUJ.
Holland collected $638k on about 220 screens, besting HDOS by 15% and HAUJ by 14%.
Finland (MGM) made $499k on 195, 15% ahead of HDOS and 27% over HAUJ.
In Hobbit helmer Peter Jackson’s homeland of New Zealand, there were midnight sneaks where Five Armies sold out 105 screens across 55 venues for $141K.
Warner Bros pointed out IMAX performances with $298k from 21 runs for a per-theater average of $14,185. Top hubs include Pathe Spuimarkt in the Hague with $27,268, Cineplexx IMAX Donauplex 13 in Vienna with $22,388 and the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin with $20,019.
WB’s master international plan for Five Armies this weekend entails a rollout on 14,000+ screens in 37 territories (and seven key markets), repping 64% of the threequel’s total foreign biz. Today, the pic bowed in 17 countries, including Russia, Brazil, Mexico and New Zealand. There’s eight more including the UK on Friday, with a Japan bow Saturday. On December 17, Five Armies charges into Korea, Spain and Italy with a conquest for China planned for January 23. Stateside auds can start lining up for Five Armies on December 17.
Elsewhere at the foreign box office, Fox International’s Exodus: Gods And Kings has raised its overseas gold to $32.6M in 13 markets. The Ridley Scott-directed Moses epic already is in Mexico, Korea and Spain and will be in 20 more markets this weekend.