The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug pulled in a further $29.3m on Friday (December 13) and more than 3m admissions from 15,950 screens in 49 markets.

The early $53.4m international running total is tracking around 5% ahead of comparable figures for 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The North American $31.3m opening day gross — some 16% down on its predecessor’s $37.5m — combines with the international score for an $84.7m global tally.

Peter Jackson’s fantasy epic arrived in the UK on $4.7m (£2.9m) from 1,495 screens for 71% share of the top five to track 39% ahead of the Thursday opening day of An Unexpected Journey.

Germany generated a further $4m (€2.9m) from 1,460 screens on the second day to reach $7.4m (€5.4m) and 35% ahead of the predecessor by the same stage. The territory delivered the best opening day of the year on Thursday on $3.4m (€2.5m).

Spain produced the highest Friday opening day of 2013 on $2.3m (€1.65m) from 859 screens for 67% top five share.

On its third day in France the film added $2.2m (€1.6m) from 909 screens to reach $6.4m (€4.7m), some 10% ahead of An Unexpected Journey.

Brazil produced $1.5m (R$3.4m) from 1,009 screens and close to 70% share of the top five to exceed the predecessor by 4%.

While the territory count of 49 is seven shy of the 56-strong global launch of An Unexpected Journey in 2012, this is by design. Veronika Kwan-Vandenberg and her distribution team have moved the Japanese date to take advantage of the traditional late February corridor that served them so well on The Lord Of The Rings and shifted several Latin American markets one week closer to the December 25 holiday. 

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire stands at an estimated $357.5m from Lionsgate International licensees through December 12.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International executives reported that Frozen had reached $66.1m and arrives this weekend in Russia, the Netherlands and Vietnam.

Marvel Studios’ Thor: The Dark World stands at $419.6m with Japan still to come on February 1 2014.

Sony Pictures Releasing International’s Captain Phillips is expected to cross $100m this weekend. The true-life thriller stands at $98.1m, while Carrie has amassed $39.9m including $3.5m from MGM licensees.

Battle Of The Year touches down in seven territories led by Australia and Russia, while Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 on $104m opens in Venezuela and Luna En Leo arrives in Mexico.