Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth delivered an other-worldly result as New Line and MGM’s first in a new JRR Tolkien trilogy opened on 18,200 screens in 56 markets through Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI).

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey generated approximately 60% of the $138.2m haul on 3D screens. WBPI reported roughly 15m admissions and IMAX accounted for around $5m of the total in that company’s highest-ever December debut.

The UK led a cascade of number one results on $18.3m (£11.4m) from 601 sites, followed by Germany where the fantasy adventure captured 60% market share on $16.3m (€12.6m) including previews from 1,332 screens. Roughly 80% of this came from 3D.

France generated $12.7m (€9.8m) and 1.3m admissions from 958 screens to claim 63% box office share for the top 5 films. 3D accounted for approximately 60%.

South Korea brought in $8.5m (KRW 9.2bn) from 1,200 screens, for 53% share of the top five, while Spain produced $8.4m (€6.5m) from 1,052 screens and 60% share. 3D accounted for approximately 40%.

The Hobbit produced the second biggest opening weekend in history in Sweden behind the Harry Potter finale and grossed $6m (SEK 39.6m) from 272 screens. 3D accounted for approximately 80%. Italy brought in $5.4m (€4.2m) from 734 screens with 50% share of the top five. 3D accounted for approximately 71%.

Mexico generated the biggest December launch on $5.2m (Ps 66m) from 2,414 screens for close to 70% share of the top five. Brazil produced $4.9m (R$10.1m) from 969 screens for 53% share of the top five. 3D accounted for approximately 64%.

IMAX Corporation reported $5m from 126 locations for a muscular $40,000 per-screen average. A company source said December records fell in the UK, Brazil, Spain, Singapore, Turkey and Ukraine. The global tally climbs to an IMAX December record of more than $15m including $10.1m in North America.

Paramount Pictures International reported that DreamWorks Animation’s Rise Of The Guardians added $20.1m from 7,400 sites in 59 markets as the tally reached $119.4m.

The fantasy adventure opened on Australia on $3.7m from 259 cinemas and added $2.6m from 575 in its third weekend in France for $11.5m. Russia has generated $14.3m after four weekends, Mexico and the UK $9.6m and $9.1m.after three, respectively, Brazil $8.9m and South Korea $6.4m after three.

Skyfall grossed a further $12.2m from 4,557 screens in 84 markets through Sony Pictures Releasing International and MGM markets. The James Bond smash currently stands at $678.7m internationally and $951.1m worldwide.

SPRI markets generated $11.3m over the weekend for $592.6m, while MGM accounted for $850,000 for an $86.1m running total.

Skyfall stayed top in its fourth weekend in Australia where $3.3m from 569 raised the tally to $38.7m. Japan’s $2m from 579 boosted the score to $19m after three and Germany has generated $76.9m after seven. The UK remains the runaway number one market on a staggering $157.5m after eight.

Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania added $1.9m from 50 markets to reach $162m and stayed top in Venezuela on $515,000 from 100 for $3m after three weekends.

Lionsgate International’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 added $11.2m to reach $501.4m and continues to play on approximately 8,000 screens in 73 territories.

Fox 2000’s Life Of Pi earned $11.5m from 5,076 screens through Fox International as the early tally climbed to $129.4m after four weekends in a mere 13 markets.

Ang Lee’s fantasy adventure grossed $6.9m in China from 3,600 to reach a tremendous $84.3m after four and rank second. The film overtook Lee’s Lust, Caution to become the filmmaker’s biggest-ever release in his homeland on $11.8m after four.

Life Of Pi stands at an excellent $12.2m in India after four, $7.5m in Spain after three and $4.9m in Hong Kong after four.

EuropaCorp/Fox’s Taken 2 stands at $228.7m, of which $65.7m comes from EuropaCorp markets.

Wreck-It Ralph brought in $4.7m through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International from 29 territories to stand at a relatively early $57.7m and $26.5m worldwide.

Universal Pictures International’s Pitch Perfect grossed $2.3m from nine territories for $12.8m; Anna Karenina added $1.7m from 16 for $17m; Italian holiday comedy Colpi Di Fulmine opened on $1.8m from 465 sites to rank third; Playing For Keeps added $1.1m in Russia for #3.7m after two; The Man With The Iron Fistsstands at $2.9 and Ted $283.7m and $502.4m worldwide.