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Not that this should come as a huge surprise, but The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is totally eating up the foreign box office. It hasn’t opened in the US quite yet, but The Battle of the Five Armies already opened in 38 foreign territories such as Japan, Russia, and Mexico. The film, which will probably be the final installation in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, and our final Jackson-led journey into Middle-earth, raked in $117.6 million over the weekend, $6.4 million of that being tickets to see the film in an IMAX theater. Insert a "one film to rule them all" joke here.
It seems that fans across the globe are chomping at the bit to get a glimpse at the final adventure in Middle-earth. Variety reports that the film earned $19.5 million at the German box office, $15.2 million in the United Kingdom, and $14.5 in France. The Battle of the Five Armies made a bit of a splash in Russia as well, amassing an impressive $13.4 million, and giving the film the biggest Russian opening ever for Warner Brothers.
The Battle of the Five Armies was followed at the box office by Exodus: Gods and Kings, which released overseas last weekend, and this weekend in the US. The film came in second with an impressive $50.2 million internationally, and $24.5 million in the US. Despite the film’s large box office numbers, Exodus still has a way to go to make up for it’s hefty $140 million price tag. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I followed up Exodus at number three at the box office, pulling in $16 million this weekend, and The Penguins of Madagascar landed in fourth with $14.7 million.
It has been thirteen years in the making, but this final film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy novels is shaping up to be an intense thrill ride for Tolkien and fantasy fans. Even if you are of the opinion that The Hobbit should have been one film, not three, if the international response to the film is any indication to what American audiences can expect, it looks like The Battle of the Five Armies will be a great finale to Jackson’s Middle-earth movies. A fan of Jackson’s Tolkien-inspired films or not, The Battle of the Five Armies is clearly shaping up to be a sort of love letter to the fans of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. Jackson even brought back the amazing Billy Boyd to sing the song that will play over The Battle of the Five Armies’ ending credits.
For now, let’s save the debate over Jackson’s films so we can get ready to go on an adventure in Middle-earth #OneLastTime. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be hitting American theaters on December 17.