DECEMBER 15 UPDATE: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies has started as it means to go on with a potent reminder of the enduring appeal of Peter Jackson’s commitment to the works of JRR Tolkien, an immense endeavour that has occupied him for close to two decades.
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UPDATED: The trilogy finale generated a confirmed $122.2m and more than 14m admissions from 15,395 screens in 37 markets, including $6.4m from 160 Imax screens for a $40,000 per-screen average and a new record December debut.
Germany led the way on $20.5m from 1,442 screens for the best opening weekend of the year to overtake the first and second Hobbit episodes by 22% and 15%, respectively.
The UK delivered $15.2m from 1,489 including previews for the top launch of the Tolkien films, roughly on a par with The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King.
France produced $15.1m from 914 in the biggest launch of the year for a US title that tracks 23% ahead of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and 7% ahead of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.
In Russia, Five Armies pulled off $13.8m from 2,390 over four days for the biggest Warner Bros launch ever and the biggest of the year-to-date, approximately 30% ahead of Unexpected Journey and 14% higher than Smaug, both of which opened on a Wednesday.
Brazil produced $6.8m from 1,037 and ranks as the second biggest Warner Bros debut excluding previews after Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Mexico delivered $6.3m from 2,775 for the biggest December release and a Peter Jackson career high. The film opened on Thursday and beat the Friday launch of Unexpected Journey by 33% and the Thursday opening of Smaug by 19%.
Japan generated $2.4m from 640 screens to rank number one ahead of three local releases and trump Unexpected Journey by 35% and Smaug by 95%.
Jackson’s home turf New Zealand delivered $1.8m from 205 for the second biggest Tolkien launch behind The Return Of The King and the biggest four-day launch of the Hobbit trilogy.
Scandinavia generated $15.2m from the four markets and a industry opening record in Finland.
Five Armies flies into Italy, Spain and South Korea this week, followed by Australia on December 26 and China on January 23.
On Imax the film averaged $51,000 per screen and delivered the second biggest opening weekend of all time in the UK.
Interstellar has reached $455m following an $11.5m weekend haul from 62 territories. The sci-fi epic added $3.2m in its sixth session in South Korea to rank second and stand at $71m.
China has ended its 31-day run on $122.6m. Interstellar stands at $31.2m in the UK, $25.3m in Russia, $21.4m in France, $16m in Australia, $17.6m in Germany, $13.2m in Italy, $10.5m in Spain, $8.8m in Taiwan and $7.3m in Japan.
Horrible Bosses 2 generated $5.7m from 49 markets for $32.2m and opened top in Australia on $2.2m from 355 including previews.
The comedy sequel has taken $5.1m in the UK after three, $3.2m in Russia after three to track 14% ahead of the final gross of Horrible Bosses, $2.6m in Germany after three, $2.2m in Brazil after two weekends and $2.1m in Mexico after two.
UPDATED: Exodus: Gods And Kings grossed $18.2m from 29 markets to reach an early $49.5m after two sessions and score 13 number one weekends.
The adventure added $3.1m from 665 in South Korea for $10.6m and $2.1m in Mexico from 1,676 for $8.1m. It opened top in Taiwan on $1.6m from 155 and did the same in Singapore on $994,973 from 85.
A further $1.7m from 830 in Spain held on to the top berth and boosted the tally to $7.4m, while $1.4m from 455 in Australia leaves the running total on $4.7m.
Dreamworks Animation’s Penguins Of Madagascar added $14.6m from 54 for $116.8m. China generated $2.9m from 1,797 for $40.6m after three weekends.
Russia produced $1.9m from 1,860 for $18.1m after three, Germany $1.6m from 1,150 for $8.7m after three and the UK $1.7m from 908 for $4.8m after two. Italy and Spain have delivered $9.2m and $3.9m, both after three.
Gone Girl opened in Japan in second place on $1.9m from 321 and grossed $2.7m from 26 markets overall to stand at $180.5m. The Book Of Life stands at $42.8m.
Fox International Productions’ The Pyramid took $2m from 19 for an early $8.1m and after two sessions stands at $2.7m in Russia and $1.3m in Malaysia.
UPDATED: As reported on Screen, the studio crossed $1bn internationally for the year-to-date – the third consecutive year it has accomplished the feat – and stands at $1.0003bn.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 grossed $16m from 86 markets to raise the international running total to $334.5m.
Latest figures put the film on $42.7m in the UK, $32.9m in Germany, $24.8m in Australia, $22.7m in France, $22.3m in Mexico, $20.4m in Brazil, $18.3m in Scandinavia, $17m in CIS, $13.7m in Spain and $11m in Italy.
Mockingjay – Part 1 is due to land in China on February 8 and Japan on June 5.
South Korea’s My Love, Don’t Cross That River added $4.7m for $6.5m.
Paddington generated $4.6m (£2.9m) in the third weekend to reach $22.5m (£14.3m) and was on course to overtake the £14.2m lifetime gross of Tinker Tailor Solider Spy to become its biggest release of all time in the UK if weekend estimates hold up. See story on Screen here.
The Imitation Game grossed $821,000 (£522,000) for $19.5m (£12.4m).
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Big Hero 6 brought in $3.9m in a period of calm before the animation arrives in a slew of major new markets in the coming month.
The weekend performance, fuelled by debuts in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Hong Kong and Iceland, pushed the running total to $68.2m from 32 territories.
Thus far the film stands at $20.1m in Russia, $15.2m in Mexico, $5.7m in Malaysia, $4.4m in the Philippines and $3.7m in Singapore. It has become after two weeks the biggest Disney or Pixar release ever in Thailand and already holds that distinction in Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. It is the second biggest in Russia behind Frozen.
Big Hero 6opens in Brazil on December 25, Australia on December 26, Germany and South Korea on January 22, the UK on January 30 and France on February 11.
Italian comedy Il Ricco, Il Povero E Il Maggiordomo (The Rich, The Poor And The Butler) arrived in Italy on $2.5m.
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UPDATED: The Theory Of Everything grossed $1.7m from three markets for an early $2.2m and arrived in South Korea in fourth place on $1.4m from 297 venues and held in second place in Hong Kong on $234,000 from 27 for $522,000. It ranks sixth in Taiwan on $83,000 from 36 for $276,000.
Ouija stands at $23.5m and opened in Brazil in fourth place on $540,000 from 95. Spain returned $620,000 from 255 for second place and a $2.6m tally after two weekends.
German rom-com Alles Ist Liebe generated $869,000 from Germany-speaking Europe to climb to $2.6m overall. Germany has produced $2.3m.
Dumb And Dumber To, which Universal distributes in seven territories, stands at $8.7m and Boyhood has taken $20.1m from 19. The next release is Mexico on January 1.
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Men, Women & Children added $410,000 from three new markets for an early $1m.