Its biggest markets were the U.K. ($18.7 million), Germany ($16.9 million), and France ($11.7 million); in all three cases, that was substantially lower than Return of the King's opening in 2003 ($26.5 million, $30.8 million, and $19.6 million, respectively). Unfortunately, Mojo does not have Return of the King records for the remainder of The Hobbit's major markets, so it's hard to know just how far behind The Hobbit is lagging, if at all.
In South Korea, The Hobbit debuted to $8.5 million, while it was also strong in Spain with $7.9 million. In Sweden, it scored the second-highest opening ever at $6.2 million. Other noteworthy starts include Italy ($5.7 million), Mexico ($5.2 million) and Brazil ($4.8 million).
In director Peter Jackson's native New Zealand, the movie opened to $2.4 million, which ranks in the Top 10 all-time.
The biggest disappointment for The Hobbit came in Japan, where the movie opened to just $3.5 million against dominant local title One Piece Film Z ($16.7 million). That debut is just a tiny fraction of Return of the King's $14.7 million, and is one of many underwhelming signs for The Hobbit's overseas potential.
Return of the King ultimately closed with $742 million overseas; while that looks out of reach for The Hobbit, it should be able to at least get past $600 million with help from upcoming markets China, Russia and Australia. Worldwide, The Hobbit is already at $230 million.
Rise of the Guardians added $21 million for a new total of $120.4 million. Its only major debut came in Australia, where it earned a decent $3.7 million. It expands in to India next weekend, and is on track to pass $200 million worldwide in the next few days.
Even with The Hobbit entering the marketplace, Skyfall continued to do strong business overseas. The 23rd James Bond adventure earned $11.7 million this weekend, which brings its foreign total to an astounding $678.2 million. That ranks 11th all-time, and third all-time for 2D-only movies behind Titanic ($1.53 billion) and Return of the King ($742 million). Including its very strong domestic performance, Skyfall has grossed $951 million worldwide; its existing markets should get it to around $980 million, and an opening in China next month will push it past $1 billion.
Life of Pi fell over 50 percent this weekend, but still managed to add $11.4 million from its 12 markets. In China, it grossed another $7 million for an incredible $84.3 million total. The movie's overseas total is now $128.7 million, and it's set to roll out in to 36 markets (including majors like Brazil, France, Italy, Mexico and the U.K.) this coming weekend.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 grossed $11 million this weekend for a new total of $501.9 million, which makes it the first Twilight movie to ever pass the $500 million mark.
Other Notables - Weekend Gross - Gross-to-Date (in millions)
Wreck-It Ralph - $4.7 - $57.7
Pitch Perfect - $2.1 - $12.7
Hotel Transylvania - $1.9 - $161.8
Colpi Di Fulmine - $1.8 - $1.8
Anna Karenina - $1.7 - $17
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• Around-the-World Roundup: 'Guardians' Grabs Top Spot, 'Skyfall' Nears $1 Billion
• Weekend Report: 'Hobbit' Takes December Record, Misses $100 Million