Around-the-World Roundup: 'Hobbit' Marches To $500 Million Overseas
For the fourth weekend in a row, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies easily took first place at the overseas box office.

The final installment in Peter Jackson's Middle Earth prequel trilogy added $52.5 million from 65 markets, which brings its total to $502.1 million. It opened to $2.1 million in Argentina, which is the biggest debut ever for Warner Bros. The movie expands in to China on January 23rd, which should give it the bump it needs to get past $700 million overseas.

On a worldwide basis, The Hobbit has now earned $723 million, which ranks fifth among 2014 releases. By next weekend, it will move up to second place ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Exodus: Gods and Kings earned $31.4 million this weekend, which includes a strong $8 million debut in Russia. It also held first place in Brazil with $4.5 million. To date, Ridley Scott's biblical epic has grossed $141.5 million, and still has six markets left (including Italy and Japan). It should ultimately get to $200 million, though it would be very surprising if it matched Noah's $261 million.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb unearthed another $25.7 million this weekend. It repeated in first place in Mexico ($4 million), and also had a solid debut in Brazil ($3.1 million). The franchise finale has earned $91.2 million so far, and still has five of the Top 10 markets left (including China, where it opens today).

Penguins of Madagascar added $23 million from 43 markets this weekend. It opened to an impressive $6 million in South Korea and a so-so $3.7 million in Australia.

Penguins has now earned $192.6 million, which compares favorably to recent DreamWorks Animation disappointments: it has already topped Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and will pass Turbo and Rise of the Guardians in the next week. Over the next two months, the movie will expand to another 14 markets.

Big Hero 6 continued its slow-and-steady international run this weekend, adding another $20.2 million. It was up 38 percent in Japan, where it's now earned $34.6 million total. To date, Big Hero 6 has grossed $167.4 million, and has yet to open in six major territories.

A month ahead of its U.S. debut, Seventh Son expanded to a handful of new markets and earned an estimated $18.6 million. It took first place in Russia with a very strong $8.9 million, while it underwhelmed in Spain with $1.3 million (fifth place). With an early total of $22 million, the long-delayed fantasy movie expands to nine more territories next weekend.

Taken 3 opened to $8.2 million in South Korea and $1.3 million in Hong Kong; in both markets, its debuts were significantly above Taken 2. That movie wound up earning $236 million outside of the U.S., and there's a realistic possibility that the franchise finale tops that number. Coinciding with its domestic debut, Taken 3 expands to 27 new markets next weekend.

On the surface, American Sniper seemed like the type of movie that wouldn't have much of a chance at the international box office: Lone Survivor and Zero Dark Thirty, for example, each fell short of $40 million overseas. However, its opening in Italy this weekend suggests a different story.

Since opening on Wednesday, the movie has earned a whopping $6.3 million, which is the biggest debut ever for a Clint Eastwood movie. American Sniper reaches the U.K. on January 16th—the same day as its U.S. expansion—and then opens in Australia a week later.

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This Timeframe in Past Years:

• 2014 - 'Frozen' Chills 'Paranormal' Spin-Off

• 2013 - 'Texas Chainsaw' Slashes Into First

• 2012 - Moviegoers Possessed By 'Devil Inside'

• 2011 - 'True Grit' Captures Lead

• 2010 - 'Avatar' Rocks New Year's

• 2009 - 'Marley' Stays on Top Over New Year's Weekend

• 2008 - 'Treasure,' 'Juno' Jumpin' in New Year

• 2007 - 'Museum,' 'Pursuit' Three-peat

• 2006 - 'Hostel' Lodged Into Top Spot

• 2005 - 'White Noise' Resonates with $24M Debut

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