Talk about a great start. Peter Jackson’s final installment of The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies rang up $11.2M in its 7 PM Tuesday night previews at 3,100 theaters, besting the $8.8M Thursday night of last December’s The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, as well as the $8M Tuesday night charted by 2003’s The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King. By Friday, Five Armies will be in 3,875 venues, 85% of which can play the film in 3D or premium large format. In IMAX alone last night, Five Armies took $2.5M, just over 22% over its evening B.O. In its Friday, Smaug made $31.2M on its war path to a FSS of $73.6M, while 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey made $37.1M on its way to an opening of $84.6M. Five Armies is the first Hobbit title to bow on a Wednesday, a mid-December rollout that was always practiced by Lord Of The Rings. Already, Five Armies has seized $122.2M of gold overseas with 3D repping 71% of that number in 37 markets. Among five-day, Wednesday-Sunday openings in December, LOTR: Return Of The King is the champ with $124.1M, while LOTR: Two Towers follows with $102M. This Friday, Five Armies which has its eye on capturing every single man, woman and kid of every age, will face off against two family titles, Sony’s Broadway musical reboot Annie and 20th Century Fox’s The Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb.
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